Now that the military’s new Blended Retirement System (BRS) has launched, members of the military are being warned to be careful what they click on while in their MyPay accounts.
Military.com reports that, while Pentagon officials say they haven’t received any reports of problems, there are rumors on social media of servicemembers unintentionally opting-in to the new retirement system.
Servicemembers who joined up as of January 1 or later—the BSR took effect on January 1—are automatically enrolled in the BRS, while current servicemembers with less than 12 years of service as of December 31, 2017, or Guard and Reserve members with 4,320 retirement points or less, can choose to join the BRS from the current “high three” system, but doing so means they will forfeit the traditional military pension program.
“To our knowledge, there have been no issues with the MyPay BRS opt-in system functionality,” Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Defense Department spokesman, is quoted saying in the report.
According to the report, the opt-in, reachable through the MyPay account via several links, requires users to choose the home screen “Blended Retirement System Opt-In” link. They then have to complete four steps to opt in.
First, the user confirms he or she has taken the mandatory training; that moves to a second screen, which requires the user to click a button acknowledging that the decision to opt in is irreversible.
A third step asks the user to update home address and date of birth, as well as click yet another button acknowledging the decision is irreversible.
A final, fourth screen again states that the decision is irreversible, and instructs users to click a main menu button to finish the process.
All those steps notwithstanding, some servicemembers and at least one military spouse have reported completing the steps and locking themselves into the new system without meaning to do so.
In the report, Eastburn cautions users to follow those steps solely to complete the opt-in process, not to learn more information about the program.
“The MyPay opt-in link is designed to allow members to opt-in once they have already made a decision,” he’s quoted saying. He adds, “It is not designed to be an information source, which is why the first screen asks if the member has already completed the mandatory opt-in training, which, along with DoD’s BRS policy, clearly informs members that the BRS opt-in decision is irrevocable.”