Military retirement is getting a makeover for the new year. Starting Jan. 1, eligible service members will be able to choose between sticking with their traditional pension and picking a hybrid plan that combines a monthly check with a personal investment account to which the government will contribute.
The goal of the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) is to provide retirement benefits to more service members, something the Department of Defense (DOD) believes will make the military more competitive with the private sector. The changes will not impact veterans and current military retirees.
Currently military retirees receive a traditional retirement check each month with the amount based on their years of service and pay. But military members must serve at least 20 years to be eligible for this benefit, and most get no government retirement when they leave the military because they haven’t served long enough. According to the DOD, only 19 percent of active-duty members and 14 percent of reservists reach the 20-year mark.