When you graduate high school, you have a choice on what next steps are. Among those are taking a gap year, you can serve in the military (once you’re 18), you can enroll in college. Those who decide to serve in the military, whichever conjunction it may be at: the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard, opportunities abound.
When you are part of serving in the military, financial incentives towards retirement is something to consider before you make a final decision. The US military is switching things up when it comes to helping military personnel saving for their retirement years. The update is something that Pentagon officials are calling “the biggest update for military pension and benefits since World War II” which is something to behold. Of course, that does that mean that this change will affect anyone that is currently serving in the military and those who choose to do so in the future.
The new retirement program is called the "Blended Retirement System" or "BRS" which is a hybrid system. It considers a pension plan alongside a program that is similar to 401 k which is a standard program. This program was implemented January 1, 2018. However, if you served for a dozen years or more prior to January 2018, the former legacy plan still stands for them.
The former system was this: if you stay in the military for two decades, you would potentially be able to receive half of their base pay for retirement. Most would not stay for twenty years, though, which has altered their retirement plans. Jeri Busch, director of military compensation policy for the U.S. Department of Defense, reminded readers that in non military jobs, employees take with them a retirement benefit package which is crucial. This change leaves 1.6 million current active duty, Reserve and National Guard members in a lurch of sorts until they figure out what they want to do in regards of retirement. It is not all challenging news to bear, however. Once a decision is made in terms of retirement programs, the legacy one or the Blended Retirement System, military personnel can then help you decipher which is best for you. For example, if you know beyond a shadow of doubt that you are going to stay at least twenty years, John Bird, senior vice president of military affairs at USAA, shares that switching programs may not serve you well.
There are training programs for those who may want input as they plan for their future. Cpl. Zachary Beckman, a 23-year-old government contractor who is also in the Marine Corps Reserves has taken the mandatory financial classes to make the wisest decisions he can for his future. You can find more information about these programs and retirement plans alike and make the best decision for you.