by Tom USAA
SAN ANTONIO – USAA’s Military Retirement Comparison Tool (MRCT) is now available to all service members in response to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) transition from the current military retirement plan to the new Blended Retirement System (BRS), which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. USAA launched the tool to help service members make an informed decision on the financial implications specific to their retirement situation.
The MRCT includes personalization based on five factors:
- Active duty vs. National Guard / Reserve
- Pay grade: Officer / Enlisted / Warrant Officer
- Years of service
- Years remaining until separation or retirement from the military
- Anticipated number of credited military points at the time of National Guard / Reserve retirement
USAA recently conducted a national online survey of 400 active-duty and reservists who will have the option of switching to BRS or remaining in the current plan. Three out of four (75 percent) service members are aware that the DOD will offer a new retirement plan in 2018, but one in four (25 percent) surveyed do not believe they have enough information to select a retirement plan.
“The Department of Defense has called this the most significant change to military retirement to date and estimates that more than 1 million active-duty, Guard and Reserve members will be affected by this change,” said retired Vice Adm. John Bird, USAA’s senior vice president of military affairs. “We estimate that 650,000 USAA members will be impacted by this change, and our research indicates that 70 percent of our members recognize saving for retirement as a personal financial goal. We stand ready to help educate and discuss BRS information with all service members so they may make informed decisions about their financial future.”
The MRCT is available to all military members and their families on USAA’s BRS webpage. The page serves as a central location for the military community to learn more about their retirement options and to plan for their financial security.
According to USAA’s survey, nearly half (49 percent) of eligible service members are planning to remain on the military’s current retirement plan, which benefits those who will retire after 20 years of military service. USAA suggests military members consider the benefits of the BRS, as DOD research finds only 19 percent of service members are likely to retire from service.
“USAA understands the unique financial situations of military members and their families, and we designed the Military Retirement Comparison Tool with them in mind,” said Josh Andrews, U.S. Air Force reservist and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM at USAA. “The tool’s results are calculated based on personal information entered by the service member and how changes to the Blended Retirement System could impact their plan to retire or separate from the military.”
Military service members can engage with the MRCT, learn more about the retirement changes, and how to better prepare for their financial security by visiting usaa.com.
Contact: Andrew Femath
USAA on Twitter: @USAA