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Investing Specialists

Trade-Offs in Military's Restructured Retirement Plan

The portability of the new system is a plus, but it's not a fit for everyone.

My article about the Thrift Savings Plan for government workers focused on the investment lineup; I noted a few spots where the otherwise-excellent plan could improve.

What the article didn't discuss is that big changes are already afoot in the retirement plan system for some military personnel--not on the investment front, but with the basic framework of the plan. Active-duty military personnel who joined after Jan. 1, 2018, will be automatically enrolled in the Blended Retirement System, or BRS. That system combines the existing retirement program, which allows military personnel who retire after 20 years of service to receive a lifetime annuity, with the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP--a 401(k) equivalent for government workers. In essence, the BRS is a pension/401(k) plan hybrid.