No, you haven’t misread your calendar. We’re not referring to a political election, but we are talking about important new options regarding your future retirement benefits.  Beginning January 1, 2018, you can make your Blended Retirement System (BRS) election in Marine Online (MOL).

If you are eligible to make the election, you will have a BRS election link on your MOL home screen. Once you click on the link, the system will verify that you have completed the required training and then permit you to make your election.

ACTION NEEDED: Remember, every eligible Marine must either accept or decline BRS by December 31, 2018, and you cannot make an election until you have completed BRS Opt-in training. Training is available online via MarineNet or Joint Knowledge Online, or you can visit your installation Personal Financial Management Office or unit Command Financial Specialist to attend classroom-based training.
Opt-in eligible Marines who choose to enroll in BRS will begin receiving both Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) automatic and matching contributions the pay period following their BRS election (learn more about the types of contributions for TSP here). It pays, literally, to opt-in early if you are planning to enroll in BRS — you can start earning government funded TSP contributions sooner rather than later.

Marines who choose to enroll in BRS but who haven’t already established TSP contributions must also log in to myPay and begin TSP payroll contributions in order to receive TSP matching funds. Choosing to contribute at least five percent  of your base pay to your TSP account will maximize the government match to your account. You can choose whether the payroll funds you contribute go into a Traditional TSP or a Roth TSP, but all government contributions will receive Traditional tax treatment. 

Marines who are eligible to opt-in to BRS and who will reach 12 years of service during 2018 have the entire calendar year to make an election. But these Marines must complete their BRS election and request continuation pay (a mid-career bonus payment given in exchange for an agreement to serve another four years) prior to reaching their 12th year of service to still be eligible for continuation pay.

If you choose to enroll in BRS, your decision is irrevocable. So, be sure about your choice. If you need more information, the PFM MarineNet Video channel contains a number of videos to help you navigate TSP and begin planning your financial future. In addition, your installation’s MCCS Personal Financial Management Specialist and your unit Command Financial Specialist are available to provide education and individual counseling. Finally, MARADMIN 662/17 provides additional details about the BRS election process.