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
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…