A recent article on Military.com said that the estimates from the consultant that advised the military on how many people would opt in to the new retirement system was way off, and that only about 20% of the servicemembers forecasted to opt in actually did, and as a result, the future pension obligations of the Department of Defense were going to be higher. I read that, and thought, “Duh?” DoD is going to have higher outlays because people didn’t choose the option that gave them less in total benefits. Doesn’t that tell you that they made good decisions, as a group?
That said, BRS is definiteely a good thing for servicemembers who don’t stay for an entire career, because before BRS, there were no retirement benefits for anyone who separated prior to 20 years of service. Now, young people who spend 3, 4, or 6 years and then go back to civilian life will also have a head start on their retirement. And the Thrift Savings Plan is one of the best platforms for long-term investment accumulation that exists.