The new Blended Retirement System (BRS) represents one of the most significant changes to military benefits in 70 years. The BRS, the basics of which are provided later in this article, will be standard for active-duty and reserve military service members who join on or after 1 January 2018. Existing service members with less than 12 years of service on 31 December 2017 will stay under the traditional system, or they may choose to transition to the BRS. For those who do not remain in the military long enough to earn the traditional retirement pension—generally 20 years—the BRS looks like a fair trade, because the automatic contributions put new retirement dollars into the pockets of those who today leave the military with no retirement benefits. For the next generation of 20-year career military families, however, the BRS trades the simplicity and security of a standard pension for risks that, without the type of proper planning that is promoted and detailed here, could result in inadequate preparation for retirement.
How to Work with the New Retirement System
By Scott Spiker