HomeNewsArticle Display

Chief Wright to Airmen: Know your retirement options

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- If I had to pick just one thing I’m most passionate about as the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, without a doubt it would be taking care of our Airmen and their families professionally, physically, spiritually and financially. I’m a firm believer that these four things go hand in hand. In order to be the best, most resilient Airman possible, you have to balance your professional, physical, spiritual and financial wellness. This is why I’m always looking to arm our Airmen with knowledge to help them grow and make the best decisions possible in their lives.

Part of arming our Airmen with knowledge means providing them the tools necessary to understand and smartly plan their long-range financial goals. But this planning isn’t just for Airmen with families; it’s vital for all Airmen.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the Department of Defense will transition to the Blended Retirement System. If you haven’t heard about BRS, you need to get up to speed now and learn all you can. I need each of you to take an active interest in your financial planning by using every resource we’ve made available to learn about the BRS.

The BRS gives Airmen an opportunity to save their money in a portable Thrift Savings Plan while receiving matching government funds at the same time. This is the most basic layman’s description of the program, which is why I need you to arm yourselves with all of the research and information available. To help you, our Air Force leaders have put together a team of experts ready to provide extensive training. Certified personal financial counselors are available at your Airman and Family Readiness Center. These experts cannot decide for you, but they can help you evaluate which retirement plan is best for you. Every Airman’s situation is different, financial goals are unique to each Airman and there is no “one size fits all” decision.

Airmen who enter the Air Force on or after Jan. 1, 2018, are automatically covered by the BRS. Active component Airmen serving now and those who enter the Air Force on or before Dec. 31, 2017, will be grandfathered under the current retirement system. Airmen with fewer than 12 years of active service on Dec. 31, 2017, or Reserve Component Airmen with fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec. 31, 2017, have the choice to opt into the BRS. Reserve Component members’ “retirement points” and retirement eligibility for the defined benefit are the same under the BRS as under the current retirement systems. The opt-in window for BRS will run from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

Make your decision knowing only you can determine which system is best for you, and understand that if you opt into BRS, it is irrevocable. You only have one chance to make this choice, so it’s imperative you and those involved in making financial decisions for your family fully understand the pros and cons of both retirement systems.

I encourage each of you to take all of the training available on ADLS and utilize the BRS comparison calculator on the Military Compensation website (http://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/) before making an appointment with your base financial counselor. The calculator provides a comparison between the current retirement system and the BRS. Doing your homework and preparing your questions ahead of time will help you get the most from your financial counseling appointment. I would like to see all eligible Airmen trained as soon as possible to give everyone time to really think about their options and be fully prepared before making this life-impacting decision.

There are pros and cons to every major decision we make, and this holds true for both retirement plans. I can’t tell you what to do. I can’t tell you what’s best for your family. All I can tell you is that you need to arm yourself with knowledge. Check out the training, talk to people who can provide you with objective advice, talk to those who will be most impacted by your decision and execute your plan knowing you made the best decision for you and your family.

For more information about the BRS, visit the BRS website at http://militarypay.defense.gov/BlendedRetirement/.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
#ICYMI Yesterday, #USAF Chief of Staff @GenDaveGoldfein had the privilege of presenting the Air Force Cross to Tech… https://t.co/E1f8TBgJYn
Planning to visit the National #911PentagonMemorial? Know before you go; the memorial will close temporarily later… https://t.co/8dBsvEl1gW
RT @ActingSecAF: Op-ed | The U.S. Space Force must be independent but not insular - https://t.co/VAoFe3oXF1 https://t.co/swaIMlVVDZ
👋 Hello @CityOfDallas, #AmericasAirForce is heading your way Sept. 27. Mark your calendars and meet us there!… https://t.co/MWnoLe8aSF
RT @DeptofDefense: Can we fix it?! 👷 $106,176 is how much money the @usairforce saved, thanks to Tech. Sgt. Keith Boudreau’s innovative 3D-…
RT @WomenInAviation: USAF women pilots to provide inspiration to future female aviators https://t.co/HsQuy6RKSH #WomeninAviation #GIAD19 #F
RT @AFResearchLab: "The technologies of tomorrow will exist because of the "Basic Research" of today." Read more on how we're collaboratin…
#WatchLive today at 9:00 A.M. EDT as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force nominee, testifies before Congr… https://t.co/7DsAHZSZRL
RT @PACAF: #PACAF photo of the Week! #Defenders from bases around the world converged on #Guam to drill in close quarters urban combat as…
An Oral History of 9/11 - Commander Anthony Barnes, "That first hour was mass confusion because there was so much e… https://t.co/cqmFnxB9LA
RT @ActingSecAF: We will #NeverForget the lives lost, both victims and first responders, or those Airmen who have sacrificed so much since…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks @JohnBoozman & @RepGaramendi for hosting an early #USAF birthday celebration & honoring the service of our #Airmen
RT @DeptofDefense: WATCH LIVE: @POTUS Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, & Chairman @thejointstaff @USMC Gen. Joe Dunfor…
RT @AirmanMagazine: The paint job on these @48FighterWing F-15s is similar to that of the P-47 Thunderbolt, the primary aircraft used by th…
Six years ago, Lt. Col. Dan Magruder lost his friend and fellow #AirForce Veteran to suicide. Their training didn't… https://t.co/fY7sVgrriF
#ICYMI, the #F22 turned 22! Happy Birthday! https://t.co/KH4m6FnJk5
RT @Eagles: Thanks to the 177th Fighter Wing for today's amazing flyover! #AFFlyover | #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/s7EJqi1O1l
RT @AirmanMagazine: A B-2 Spirit from @Whiteman_AFB received fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker above the Norwegian Sea, Sept. 5, 2019. This e…