About 1.6 million service members will have a big decision to make in 2018: stay with the traditional military retirement system or move to the new Blended Retirement System. Those service members includethose who have less than 12 years of service on active duty as of Dec. 31, or less than 4,320 retirement points as a member of the Guard or Reserve. The new benefits package is called the Blended Retirement System, or the BRS, because it blends elements of the traditional 20-year, all-or-nothing pension system with some new payments, designed to give at least some retirement benefits to those who don’t stay for a full 20-year career. Currently only about 19 percent of active duty troops and 14 percent of reserve component members stay long enough to earn a full retirement.
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