The new Blended Retirement System (BRS) combines the popular military retirement pension with an employer matching program found in most civilian defined contribution plans.
All members of the military currently serving as of 31 December 2017 are grandfathered under the legacy retirement system. No one will be automatically moved to the BRS. Effective today, 1 January 2018, all service members who join the military will be enrolled in the BRS.
According to the Department of Defense, Active Duty Service members with less than 12 years since their Pay Entry Base Date and Reserve Component Service members who have accrued less than 4,320 retirement points as of 31 December 2017, can opt into the Blended Retirement System. The opt-in/election period for the Blended Retirement System ends on 31 December 2018.
Deciding whether or not to opt-in to BRS should not be taken lightly. This is a permanent, individual decision that requires research (start with the official government website), use of multiple retirement calculators, and probably a visit to your local military financial counselor.