The Blended Retirement System Roundup
At just over a month away, the Blended Retirement System (BRS) opt-in date is looming in front of us. From 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018, servicemembers with fewer than 12 years of service or Reservists with fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of 31 December 2017 will have the option to opt-in to the new retirement system. Servicemembers entering the military on or after 1 January 2018 will automatically be enrolled in the BRS.
If you navigate to the DoD’s MilPay website you can read all about the BRS here or actually use the BRS Comparison Calculator here. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer for opting into the BRS or staying with the High Three Legacy system. Everyone’s situation is unique and you’re going to have to do your own research on this one.
I’ll admit, when I first learned about the BRS, I was skeptical. I’m glad I took the time to educate myself and read, read, read as much as possible about the BRS. The DoD has put out a ton of info on the BRS. However, it’s always nice to have some fresh and independent perspective. Below, I’ve compiled a roundup of my favorite BRS posts from my favorite military personal finance bloggers.
The Military Guide’s Tricky Details Of The Military Blended Retirement System
Doug Nordman, aka the godfather of military personal finance blogging walks you through a handful of BRS v. Legacy retirement system details that you might not have given much thought to. Pay special attention to Nords’ thoughts on the hitting the 20 year mark, BRS Calculator, and tax planning. Bonus points for an article on BRS that you will actually lol while reading.
Military Dollar’s The Blended Retirement System – Part 4: FAQs, Myths, and My Opinions
Although I’m listing the 4th article in a series of 4 posts on the BRS, you can read them in order, starting here. The active duty Air Force officer behind Military Dollar helps us break down facts vs. myths on the BRS in this post. Pay special attention to the breakdown of the pension multiplier, where the TSP match will be deposited, and when to sign up for the BRS if you decide BRS is the correct decision for you.
Military Money Manual’s I Will Opt Into the New Military Blended Retirement System (You Should Too)
Spencer, an active duty Air Force officer explain why he plans to opt into the BRS come 1 January 2018. His post talks about the flexibility that the BRS can give you. Even though by the spring of 2018, Spencer will have eight years of service (and isn’t opposed to 20 years either), he’s going the BRS route because he values flexibility.
Paycheck Chronicles’ BRS Consideration: Thrift Savings Plan Balances Are Inheritable
Kate Horrell, the name behind Military.com’s Paycheck Chronicles has published extensively on the BRS. If you check out the Paycheck Chronicles, you’ll find articles on the basics of the BRS and updates as the information we know about BRS has solidified. However, this article is great because it offers an extra tidbit of information that many people don’t think about. TSP balances are inheritable for heirs while pensions are not. Maybe that’s not important to you in your situation, but for many people it might be something to consider.
Full disclosure, I’m a military spouse not a military servicemember and I’ve never served in the military either. So why did I take the BRS Opt-In Training back in April? Well, for the simple fact that I am a military spouse. Yes, it’s my husband who is in the military, but we decide as a team our TSP contributions, our goals for retirement and even whether or not he should stay for 20+ years. Understanding his retirement planning options will affect our future in retirement. It’s my belief that for married servicemembers, their civilian spouses need to be just as literate in the BRS/High Three and TSP plans.