The Defense Department announced that military retirees and survivors will receive an increase in their pay and annuities in 2019.
Beginning January 1, 2019 most military retirees, enrollees in the Survivor Benefit Plan and survivors of service members who died on active or inactive duty, will receive a 2.8 percent increase to their retired pay, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Additionally, survivors who are eligible for the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance program will receive a 2.8 percent increase, with the maximum amount available reaching $318. The Defense Department calculated the cost of living adjustment based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers between September 2017 and September 2018.
Officials at the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program are reminding service members that they have to decide whether to opt into the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for matching contributions.
December 31, 2018 is the deadline for members of the military to decide whether to enroll in the Blended Retirement System. The program offers for the first time an employer match of between 1 percent and 5 percent to the TSP for military members, provided service members accept a less generous annuity calculation if they stay the full 20 years required to earn pension benefits.
The Blended Retirement System went live on January 1, 2019 and people who joined the military after that date are automatically enrolled in the program. Existing service members who do not opt in by December 31, 2018 will be locked into their current retirement savings program with no employer match for TSP contributions.
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