Continuation pay bonus available for Minnesota service members
“’Do you want more money?’ That’s what I ask Soldiers,” said Nick Hirdler, the interim incentives manager for the Minnesota National Guard. “The biggest thing is Soldier care; I am very passionate about that.”
Hirdler, who also serves as a cook and culinary specialist with I Company, 134th Brigade Sustainment Battalion has been a part of the Minnesota National Guard family for nearly 18 years. He believes it’s important for all service members to feel good about their time in the Guard.
Hirdler also works as a member of the State Incentives Team full time. The team is responsible for verifying service members’ eligibility for bonuses or education benefits and ensuring they receive what they have qualified for and earned. Part of Hirdler’s job focuses on the Blended Retirement System’s Continuation Pay, known as BRS-CP.
BRS-CP is a one-time payment for Soldiers who are between eight and 12 years of service. The payment is open to any service member, whether they are full time or part time, enlisted or commissioned.
“It’s a special incentive for servicemembers who opted into the Blended Retirement System,” added Hirdler. “It’s based off of, if they were active duty, four times that monthly pay for M-day Soldiers and for AGR, its 2.5 times.”
For Airmen, the program is a little different. Air Force service members must elect to receive the bonus before they start their 12th year of service and have at least four years left of their contract.
BRS-CP is a mid-career incentive for both Soldiers and Airmen in addition to any career-field specific incentives or retention bonuses.
Since February 2022, the Minnesota National Guard has processed continuation pay packets for 95 service members, totaling nearly $1.7 million in bonuses.
Unlike other federal and state bonuses, physical fitness and height and weight, do not affect a service members eligibility for continuation pay.
“This comes out every year,” said Hirdler, who recommends service members apply as soon as they are eligible. “Commit to an additional four years, and when you’re eligible, it’s just a signature.”
More information on the DoD’s Blended Retirement System and continuation pay are available at: https://militarypay.defense.gov/BlendedRetirement.
Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs