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 | September 30, 2014

    Rounding #debt and #mortgage payments up to the nearest $100 will get you out of debt years earlier.

Saver Stories View all »

Airman Succeeds Through Dedication to Building Wealth Not Debt

Written by Super User | October 13, 2011

I came into the Air Force at 23 years old in 1993 with about 12 outstanding bills (hospital bills, car loan, car insurance, school loans, credit cards, etc.). You name it, I had the bill. Thanks to the Family Support Center, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and many other sources, I now have no outstanding bills.

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...

One That Almost Got Away

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

Read more...