Opted into BRS? Don’t Forget This Important Step

By Beth Perry, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

A major benefit of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) is the free money you can now get from your service. Each time you contribute to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) retirement account, your service will match it, up to 5 percent of your pay. But your contributions are not automatic if you opted into BRS – they don’t happen unless you choose to make them. And if you skip that important step, you risk missing out on hundreds of dollars in matching this year alone.

Contributing at least 5 percent of your basic pay is the only way to get the full match available to you. (For example, 5 percent for an E-2 is about $90 per month.) Now that you’ve opted in, your service created a TSP account for you (if you didn’t already have one) and automatically contributes an amount equal to 1 percent of your basic pay to it. But the other 4 percent depends on you taking action.  

Got 5 minutes? If you haven’t already, log into your payroll system to get the benefit you’ve earned: more free money just for contributing. You'll also need to decide whether to make Roth or traditional contributions, and our short video “Is Roth Right for Me?” explains the difference.

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines* (active duty and Ready Reserve): Use myPay to contribute to your TSP account.

Choose whatever amount you’re comfortable with, but contributing at least 5 percent of your basic pay is the only way to get the full match you've earned from your service.  

  1. Log into myPay. From the Main menu, select “Traditional TSP and Roth TSP.”
  2. Next, you’ll see two columns: “Contributions from Traditional TSP” and “Contributions from Roth TSP.” You can choose either one or both.
  3. Select the percentages you would like to save from your basic, special, incentive, and bonus pay.
  4. Click “Continue,” verify your information, and click “Save.” If you need help, call myPay at 1-888-332-7411 and select option 5, then option 2.

*Important note for Marines: Even though you used Marine Online to opt into BRS, you must use myPay to change your TSP contributions.

Coast Guard and NOAA Corps (active duty and Ready Reserve): Use Direct Access to contribute to your TSP account.

Choose whatever amount you’re comfortable with, but contributing at least 5 percent of your basic pay is the only way to get the full match you've earned from your service.

  1. Log into Direct Access. From the “Employee” page under “Tasks,” click “More…” near the bottom of the column.
  2. Select the “Thrift Savings Plan” option. This will show you how much you’re currently saving. If you aren’t contributing to your TSP account yet, you’ll need to start with “Traditional TSP Base Pay.”
  3. Once the new screen pops up, select “Edit” and provide the percentages of your basic pay that you want to contribute. Use “Before Tax” to make traditional contributions and “After Tax” to make Roth contributions.
  4. Click “Save” and then “Okay” when you see the pop-up confirmation. For more detailed instructions, visit the Coast Guard’s Mission Support homepage guide.

Let Military Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the Military Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. Military Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

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Opted into BRS? Don’t Forget This Important Step >> https://ctt.ec/Ie561 v/@MilitarySaves

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