(June 13, 2017) The Defense Department has rolled out a calculator to help those eligible to opt into the new Blended Retirement System to compare their potential retirement benefits under BRS to the legacy system.
The online tool will walk you through five screens, allowing you to adjust 12 data fields and compare benefit scenarios under both systems, said Maj. Michael Odle, DoD’s assistant director of military compensation policy.
It is designed to take into account the unique financial situations of all who serve, active, Guard and Reserve, he said. BRS becomes available Jan 1, 2018. It provides a 401(k)-style retirement program. The government will contribute 1 percent of your pay into an account and match your contributions dollar for dollar up to an additional 4 percent.
There is also a pension if you serve 20 years, but it is smaller than the pension under the legacy system, which provides no benefit to those who serve less than 20 years.
All currently serving members will be grandfathered under the legacy system. But those on active-duty with less than 12 years of service and National Guardsmen and Reservists with fewer than 4,320 retirement points on Dec. 31, 2017 have the option of changing to BRS.
That means 1.7 million service members have a decision to make. They must opt into BRS by Dec. 31, 2018, or they will remain in the legacy system