BRS: To Opt-In or Not – Time is Running Out

By Andia Dinesen, Executive Vice President for Communications & Operations, Association of Military Banks of America

December 31, 2018 will be the last day, for those who are eligible, to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System (BRS).  Knowing your options, understanding implications for your future, effects on your current budget, weighing pros and cons of staying on the Legacy (HIGH-3) or opting into BRS, should play a role in your decision. This is an important personal decision.

Below is a list of tools and resources to help you make a decision. Be sure to take the mandatory training and connect with people who can help, like financial counselors and your financial institution’s advisers.

Here are some tips if you are still working on the decision:

  1. Double check your eligibility status
    Especially if you have a mix of Guard/Reserve/Active time in service.  This can make it a little less clear.
  2. Complete the mandatory training
    If you have not completed the training, and you are eligible, speak to the finance office at your unit/installation.
  3. Your decision to opt-in to BRS it is irrevocable (you cannot switch back to Legacy)
    Also remember, if you do nothing by 31 December 2018 you will remain on the Legacy plan.  This means that if you leave before 20 years of service, you will receive no military retirement pay benefits.
  4. Seek out the resources and guidance
    Use financial professionals to help you make the right decision for you and your family or time (31 December) will make the decision for you.

Resources:

USAA BRS Comparison Tool

DoD BRS Comparison Calculator

DoD – Military Compensation – Blended Retirement System website

How to Opt Into BRS

*Servicemembers with less than 12 years of Service (as of Dec. 31, 2017) or fewer than 4,320 retirement points (as of 31 Dec. 2017) Eligibility Fact Sheet


Let Military Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the Military Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. Military Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips and text message reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

TAKE THE PLEDGE


The deadline to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System is Dec. 31, make your decision before it's too late with these tips from @MilitaryBanks v/@MilitarySaves! http://bit.ly/2OBJ9kt 

  Tweet this now

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | March 26, 2014

    Need #savings tips? Check out these 54 savings tips & boost the amount of #money you can #save http://ow.ly/sfsPP

Saver Stories View all »

A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

Read more...

A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.

Read more...

Money on the Side

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait -- A colonel in the 1st Theater Sustainment Command has money on his mind.

Army Col. George Fields, the Chief of Intelligence, or G2, has been teaching a free "Managing Your Money" class here in his spare time. More than 400 students have attended his six week-long class to learn more about increasing their own finances.

"All I did was sit down and listen to a guy one day who showed me what he was doing" said the colonel as he explained how he became interested in what he calls, "becoming financially free."

Read more...