WASHINGTON - Service members eligible to opt into the Blended Retirement System in 2018 can now take a free course to learn to use the online comparison calculator to aid in determining whether the new BRS or the legacy retirement system is a better choice for their circumstances, Defense Department officials said.
The calculator provides individual military retirement benefit estimates for service members who are eligible to opt into the new system in 2018, allowing them to compare options under both systems.
Service members using a common access card can access the course through Joint Knowledge Online, and a non-CAC version also is available for active-duty members, officials said.
Fred Drummond, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force education and training, said the comparison calculator is a valuable resource for service members and their families as they make decisions regarding their financial future. "Additionally," he said, "we strongly encourage service members to seek out additional financial consultation with their own financial adviser, if they have one."
Course offered in two versions
The Comparison Calculator Course is available in two versions - one is for active-duty service members, and the other is designed to meet the needs of the National Guard and reserve components. Both official DoD comparison calculators and the accompanying courses are the only calculator tools endorsed by DoD, officials said.
The Defense Department takes no position on which retirement system a service member should select, officials said. Everyone is encouraged to use all the resources available in the decision-making process, including the completion of the BRS Opt-In Course, using the BRS comparison calculator, accessing the online BRS resource materials and scheduling time with a personal financial manager or counselor, they noted.
Service members can get free, personal support from an accredited personal financial manager or counselor through their installation's Military and Family Support Center by searching online at http://militaryinstallations.dod.mil/ or http://www.jointservicesupport.org/spn. Additional resources are available on the Blended Retirement System website.