Blended Retirement System (BRS)

If you have less than 12 years of service as of the end of 2017, you have a decision to make about whether to stay in the existing retirement system, or switch to the new BRS, which is the retirement system that applies to everyone who joins the military on Jan. 1, 2018 or later.  


The Department of Defense has made a tool available to help people with the decision, and tells you it’s totally your responsibility to make the right choice. They won’t tell you what to do, just give you this tool to help you decide.


One way to look at it:

They’ve done the analysis, and decided there’s no way that anyone with more than 12 years of service could be better off with the Blended Retirement System, so they won’t let those people make a bad choice.


There are some people for whom this should be a really easy decision:


 If you have decided that you absolutely aren’t going to stay in long enough to retire, then the only way to receive any military retirement benefit, is to opt in to BRS. That way you’ll have a TSP account that can keep growing for 40 years, versus leaving with nothing under the legacy system.


Finally, if you have between 4 and 12 years in the service, especially if you aren’t sure whether you’re staying for 20 years, you DO have a TOUGH decision to make. And there are so many variables to consider:


  • The amount DoD contributes to your TSP account

  • How much you will be able to afford to put in

  • How much those TSP investments will earn over 20 to 40 years

  • When you will receive promotions

  • When you will start taking withdrawals from TSP

  • Whether, and how much you’ll get, for a continuation bonus

If you want to discuss how to make a good decision, go to the “Contact” page, and schedule a phone call. Helping people with difficult financial decisions is what Penn Cove Financial is about.  

This section of the website is going to be geared toward the Military Community.

It has occurred to me recently that there is a lot of military specific information that I could make available. Since I have personal experience with being a mid-career person, facing the decision of whether to stay in the Navy (I did), and the transition that came with transfer to the Fleet Reserve (20 year retirement), and the switch to working in the civilian sector, that this could be a great place to share some of that experience, and to make resources available for those that would like them.

The first give-away I'm offering is a spending plan template. Yes, I know Fleet & Family Services provides one, as does Army Community Services and Air Force Community Center. The one I use is one page, and lets you enter info for the current and a proposed future scenario. It's great if you're trying to compare your budget from one duty station to the next, or after transitioning to the civilian sector, or from working to retirement.  If you'd like a copy, just email with "Spending Plan" in the subject line.