WASHINGTON — Upon taking office almost a year ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter promised reforms, saying “that a blended retirement system is a key step in modernizing the department’s ability to recruit, retain and maintain the talent we require of our future force.”
An overhaul of the current military retirement system is slated to take effect January 1, 2018. The new system has three elements: a 401(k)-style component with Defense Department matching funds for entry-level and other service members, a mid-career continuity bonus, and a retirement annuity similar to the one now in place for service members that complete twenty or more years of eligible service.
Grandfathering and Opting In
The question he hears most often about blended retirement is: “What will it mean to me?”
All troops now serving are grandfathered and will be allowed to remain in the current system.
Those who have served in uniform for fewer than 12 years as of December 31, 2017, will have a choice to stay in the current system or to opt into the new retirement plan and those who enter service after the blended retirement rolls out will automatically be covered by the new modernized retirement system.
Read more about the new 'Blended Retirement' system:
DoD Plans Benefit Revision With ‘Blended Retirement’