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BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) ELECTION PERIOD ANNOUNCEMENT

Date Signed: 12/7/2017
MARADMINS Number: 662/17

R 071337Z DEC 17
MARADMIN 662/17
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) ELECTION PERIOD ANNOUNCEMENT//
REF/A/MSGID: MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP/071304ZJUL17//
REF/B/MSGID: MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP/111939ZOCT17//
REF/C/MSGID: DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP/021825ZOCT17//
REF/D/MSGID: MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP/161231ZOCT17//
AMPN/REF A IS MARADMIN 353/16, BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) POLICY ANNOUCEMENT.  REF B IS MARADMIN 563/17, BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) TRAINING UPDATE NUMBER THREE.  REF C IS MARADMIN 543/17, SPECIAL PROCEDURES FOR THE CONTINUATION PAY PROGRAM FOR BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) PARTICIPANTS REACHING 12 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF CALENDAR YEAR 2018.  REF D IS MARADMIN 575/17, CONTINUATION PAY PROGRAM FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018 FOR BLENDED RETIREMENT SYSTEM (BRS) PARTICIPANTS.//
POC/ALAN HARGIS/CIV/UNIT: MPO-40/TEL: 703-784-9386 EMAIL: ALAN.HARGIS@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  Purpose.  To announce the opening of the election period for the Blended Retirement System (BRS).
2.  Situation.   The BRS enrollment period begins 1 January 2018.  During this period, all BRS eligible Marines must make a decision to either remain in the legacy retirement system or enroll into the BRS.  BRS opt-in training must be completed and recorded in the Marine Corps Total Force System before making an election decision.
3.  Enrollment Eligibility.  See reference (a).
4.  Training Requirement.  See reference (b).
5.  Enrollment Decision.
5.a.  Marine Online (MOL) is the primary method for recording BRS election decisions.  The BRS paper election form is the secondary method and is authorized for use by individuals such as recruits who do not have access to MOL.  This form will be posted on the M&RA BRS webpage at https:(slash)(slash)www.manpower.usmc.mil/BRS by 1 January 2018. 
5.b. An election to enroll into the BRS is irrevocable effective the date the decision is recorded in MOL or the BRS paper election form.  Marines who decline enrollment into the BRS may change their decision until 31 December 2018.
5.c.  Active Component (AC) Marines who leave active duty service during calendar year 2018 without making an election decision and return to service later in 2018 will have the reminder of the calendar year to make an election decision as long as they are in a paid status at the time of election.
5.d.  Reserve Component (RC) Marines who leave a paid status (e.g., transfer from the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)) during calendar year 2018 without making an election decision and return to a paid status during 2018 can make an election decision as long as they remain in a paid status.  RC Marines who enter and exit a paid status multiple times in 2018 will be able to make an election decision prior to 1 January 2019, as long as they are in a paid status.
5.e.  Recruit Depots/The Basic School.  Recruits and student officers with a Date of Original Entry Armed Forces (DOEAF) before 1 January 2018 are grandfathered into the legacy retirement system and are eligible to enroll into the BRS.  They must make a decision to remain in the legacy retirement system or enroll into the BRS during calendar year 2018.  They must be given an opportunity to make an election decision and complete the BRS Election Form upon completion of BRS opt-in training.  If they elect to enroll into BRS, unit admin must report TTC 472-000.  If they elect to remain in the legacy retirement system, unit admin must report TTC 472-001.  If they elect to delay making an election decision, no BRS transaction shall be reported.   Unit admin must upload the completed forms into the Electronic Service Record Book of the personnel concerned.  Recruits and student officers with a DOEAF on or after 1 January 2018 will be directly enrolled into the BRS and should not complete the BRS election form.
6.  Effect of Enrollment on Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
6.a.  Marines with a TSP account at the time of enrollment into BRS who elect to enroll in the BRS will receive one percent automatic agency contributions and be eligible to receive additional matching contributions for a total agency contribution of five percent.  Agency automatic and matching contributions will begin the first full pay period following enrollment into BRS.
6.b.  Marines without a TSP account at the time of their BRS enrollment who elect to enroll into the BRS and elect not to contribute to TSP will have a TSP account established for them and will receive one percent agency automatic contributions.
6.c.  Marines with TSP accounts at the time of enrollment into BRS will retain their account number and their account access will remain the same as before BRS enrollment.  One percent automatic agency contributions and matching up to four percent will be contributed on their behalf the first full pay period after election using the existing TSP account.  Existing TSP account balances will carry over following BRS enrollment, but automatic contributions of one percent and any matching contributions are not retroactive (i.e. will not be “backdated” to a period prior to BRS enrollment).
7.  Continuation Pay.  See references (c) and (d).
8.  Examples.
8.a.  A Marine who enrolls into BRS on 4 January 2018 setting a three percent personal contribution rate will receive one percent automatic agency contribution and three percent matching agency contributions for a total of seven percent going to TSP effective 1 February 2018 with the first contributions being sent to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) approximately 1 March 2018 and viewable in the TSP account on or about 5 March 2018.
8.b.  A Marine who enrolls into BRS on 4 January 2018 will begin to accrue an automatic one percent agency contribution effective 1 February 2018 with the first contribution being sent to the FRTIB approximately 1 March 2018.  Approximately 10 days after the account has been established, the FRTIB will send three separate mailings to the Marine: (1) a TSP Welcome Letter that includes their TSP account number, (2) their TSP web password, and (3) their ThriftLine Personal Identification Number (PIN). Along with their Welcome Letter, Marines will receive the TSP booklet “Managing Your Account for Members of the Uniformed Services”, which provides valuable information on TSP investment options, making a contribution allocation, requesting an interfund transfer, and designating beneficiaries.
9.  Commanders shall ensure eligible Marines in a paid status are trained and make a BRS election before 1 January 2019.
10.  For more information, the Commander’s BRS Smart Pack and all references are available at https:(slash)(slash)www.manpower.usmc.mil/BRS.  Please email questions to BRS@usmc.mil.
11.  This MARADMIN is applicable to the Marine Corps Total Force.
12.  Release authorized by LtGen Michael A. Rocco, Deputy Commandant, Manpower and Reserve Affairs.//