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DoD to move military from High-3 to Blended Retirement System Jan 1

  • Published
  • By A1C Daniel Farrell
  • 106th Rescue Wing

GABRESKI AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Westhampton Beach, NY. – The Department of Defense is scheduled to change from the High-3 retirement system to the Blended Retirement System starting January 1, 2018.

Members of the 106th Rescue Wing, Westhampton Beach, and armed service members enlisted prior to December 31, 2017, have an option to remain in the High-3 retirement system or may have the option to join the Blended Retirement System as early as January 1, 2018. However, it is a one-time decision, which has to be made by the December 31, 2018, deadline.

In order to be eligible to enroll in the Blended Retirement System, Air National Guard members and Air Force Reservists must have less than 4,320 points accrued. Air Force members must have 12 years or less of active duty service.

Members who do not make a decision by the deadline will remain in the High-3 retirement system.

Military members who join after December 31, 2017, will be automatically entered into the Blended Retirement System.

Both retirement systems offer a pension after 20 years of service, said Timothy J. Yeo, the personal financial planner here. Although the Blended Retirement Systems will have a reduced pension, the system allows for an option to put money into the Thrift Savings Plan, which can be matched up to 5% by the Department of Defense. That money and its growth will carry with a member even if they decide to leave prior to 20 years of service. 

Additionally, the Blended Retirement System offers continuation pay between eight to 12 years of service depending on the guidelines put out by the Air Force. Continuation pay is an incentive or bonus, designed to encourage members to continue serving at critical points in their careers.

 For Airmen early in their careers, it’s important to start thinking about retirement now.

“Compound interest, Einstein called it the most powerful force in the universe,” said Yeo. “If you invest early the gains really compound. One of the biggest regrets of retirees is not starting earlier.”

Even though it is best to start early, it is never too late start, said Yeo.

“Every situation is different,” said Yeo. “I’m here to discuss financial planning topics whether it’s budgeting, debt management, insurance planning, estate planning, investing, and even general retirement planning outside of the Blended Retirement System.”

For any questions or concerns regarding retirement, or any financial planning matters, Yeo is available by appointment or walk-in and does hold financial classes by request. Yeo can be reached by email at or by cell phone at 571-421-7176.

Additional information about the Blended Retirement System can be found online at or through