Master Sgt. Joe Ray, a weapons loader assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, salutes as Capt. Justin Kreischer, an 180th FW F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, prepares to take off for a training sortie at Kecskemet Air Base, Hungary on June 2, 2017
Photo via DoD
Airmen approaching 12 years served who convert to the new Blended Retirement System will be eligible for a continuation pay bonus, but those planning on retiring after 20 years may benefit more from the current system.
Active-duty airmen who commit to 48 months of additional service will receive a one-time bonus of 2.5 times their monthly basic pay, according to an Air Force statement issued on Nov. 27. Reservists will receive 50 percent of their base pay.
If reserve airmen are on active-duty orders when they convert to the new system, they’ll earn the active-duty payment rate.
Airmen must elect to receive continuation pay before the start of their 12th year of service. They can choose to receive the payments in a lump sum or yearly installments, subject to tax withholding, and will be required to pay it back if they don’t complete their service.
Each of the services will offer a continuation bonus for converting to the blended system, but the law gives them the discretion to make the offer to servicemembers between eight and 12 years of service.
Currently, servicemembers who retire after 20 years each month receive 50 percent of the average of their highest three years of base pay, plus 2.5 percent more for each year of active duty after 20 years.
Under the new blended plan, the payout is reduced to 40 percent and 2 percent more for each year of active duty after 20 years.
However, the new plan includes matching contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan, a program similar to a traditional 401(k). Servicemembers can choose to invest their money in different funds, with varying risk.
All current servicemembers are grandfathered into the current retirement plan, but those with less than 12 years of service can opt into the new plan throughout 2018. Starting Jan. 1, all new servicemembers are automatically enrolled in the new plan.
Mandatory training at the Joint Knowledge Online website directs servicemembers to a retirement calculator that can help them decide whether to switch plans. The difference in benefits could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.