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Blended retirement system: Is it right for you?

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn
  • 27th Special Operations Squadron Public Affairs

The military can often present difficult decisions for Airmen: Should you cross-train? Do you get out or reenlist? Now there’s another important decision for those active duty Airmen with less than 12 years in service and National Guard and Reserve service members who have accrued fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of December 31, 2017; do you stay with the legacy retirement system or opt into the blended retirement system?

For all Airmen, the computer based training on the BRS can provide a wealth of information but it may prove to be confusing, especially because Airmen can’t ask questions they may have. For those with questions, Keri McDonald, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, can provide professional assistance.

McDonald urges that Airmen understand the difference between the two retirement options.

“Your financial future, in my opinion, is important,” McDonald said. “Do you want to retire early? At age 65 or 70? What do you want? Everyone’s retirement plans are different.”

McDonald advises individuals to really pay attention to the CBT on the BRS. If they just clicked through, she suggests re-doing the training.

“This isn’t just training, this is your future so you need to pay attention,” she said. “I have found some things in the CBT that some Airmen can’t comprehend. If they come in here we can explain it to them in a manner that they understand.”

Additionally, the A&FRC is holding interactive briefings on the BRS for the following dates:

November 16 and December 5, 7, 12, 14 and the 18th. The classes all have different times and limited seating available so a quick call to the A&FRC at 784-4228 is needed. They also have quick-reference guides for the BRS and Airmen can always make an appointment with any of their financial consultants for a one-on-one meeting. Be sure to call ahead of time as their schedules quickly fill up.

The bottom line is that the decision to change from the legacy retirement system to the new blended retirement system can be a confusing, stressful choice, but it’s still one that everyone needs to educate themselves on, as it directly contributes to their financial future.