Blended Retirement System (BRS) News – 8 June 2017

1. BRS Facebook Live Q&A TODAY –

Join Military OneSource for a live Facebook Q&A where experts from the Department of Defense and Manpower and Reserve Affairs will be on hand to answer your questions about the new Blended Retirement System that goes into effect January 1, 2018. The new Blended Retirement System blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to service members’ Thrift Savings Plan. Post your questions ahead of time using the Discussion feature below, or ask your questions live TODAY, June 8 at 11:00 a.m. MST. It can be accessed by going to

2. DoD Launches Retirement System Comparison Calculator –

The Department of Defense officially launched the Blended Retirement System [ ](BRS) comparison calculator, providing BRS opt-in eligible service members their first opportunity for an individualized comparison of retirement systems. The comprehensive tool, in combination with the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course [ ], will assist the nearly 1.7 million opt-in eligible service members and their families make an informed decision on whether or not to elect the new retirement system.The BRS goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

We have designed an all-in-one calculator that is intuitive to use and takes into account the unique financial situations of our active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, said Tony Kurta, performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The calculator presents to service members the information needed to make an effective comparison. The calculator will provide service members the ability to compare estimated benefits between their current retirement plan and BRS prior to making this important decision.

Service members can adjust 12 inputs to reflect their personal situation and planning assumptions to see how changes to their career and savings will impact retirement benefits over the long-term. With a simple click, service members can change any of the inputs and re-run the calculations as many times as needed. The comparison calculator provides personalized estimates based on a service members individual information, career progression, pay and bonuses and retirement options. The all-in-one calculator was designed for the Total Force and can be used by active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members.

The official DoD comparison calculator is the only calculator endorsed by the DoD for supporting a service members Blended Retirement System opt-in decision.

Service members may use any calculator they feel can aid them in the decision making process, said Kurta. However, only the DoD BRS comparison calculator has been validated by the department as complying with all DoD and BRS policy and tested for accuracy.

The comparison calculator is intended to be used in conjunction with the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course, which launched Jan. 31. The opt-in course is focused on comparing the current legacy military retirement system (often referred to as the high-3 system) and the new Blended Retirement System, along with elements on financial management and retirement planning for service members. Service members are encouraged to take the Opt-In Course prior to utilizing the BRS comparison calculator. The decision whether to opt into the BRS is a completely personal one and the DoD takes no position on which system a service member should elect.

While the calculator is a valuable resource, said Kurta, it should not be the only resource used in making an opt-in decision.

Service members are encouraged to use all resources available to them in the decision making process, to include completion of the BRS Opt-In Course [ ], utilizing the BRS Comparison Calculator [ ], accessing the online BRS resource materials [ ]and scheduling time with a personal financial counselor or manager. Service members can get free, personal support from an accredited personal financial counselor or manager through their installations Military and Family Support Center. Search online at [ ] or [ ].

Give and Get Back – Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign

Army & Air Force Exchange Service is partnering with the Air Force Assistance Fund for an exciting promotion. Between June 14 and June 18, make a $5 donation to AFAF at the register of the Base Exchange and receive a coupon for $5 off a future purchase. Give back to your fellow Airmen while also getting a great deal.

The Society is one of four affiliate charities benefiting from the AFAF campaign, so we hope you’ll plan to get out and shop at your Exchange starting on June 14!

Daylight Savings Time Turns Clocks Forward Early Sunday Morning


(Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP)

Your case of the Mondays is about to get worse.Sunday at 2 a.m. is the start of daylight saving time, which means all of sleep-deprived America loses one precious hour of shut-eye.

It’s the most fussed-about hour of the year. For many, the disruption is torture.

About 61% of Americans say changing the clocks has an effect on them, and 40% say it takes them at least one week to get back to normal, according to a recent survey by the Better Sleep Council, a mattress industry group.

Experts are conflicted.

“That one hour doesn’t have as dramatic of an effect as people think,” says David Volpi, founder and medical director of Eos Sleep, a center for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. “I think people use that as an excuse. It’s only an hour. It’s not like you are dealing with jet lag.”

On the other hand, sleep educator Nancy Rothstein says the small shift makes a huge difference. “Our body clock is a natural thing. Changing the clock is not natural. It’s a man-made thing that forces changes on us,” Rothstein says. “People have enough trouble with their sleep as it is. Seventy-six percent of Americans want a better night of sleep.”

And on a Monday morning? That’s rough.

According to a survey from Sleepy’s, the mattress retailer, nearly 70% of Americans would favor moving the time change from 2 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Saturday.

Sleepy’s even has a link on Facebook for sleep devotees to sign a petition urging lawmakers to officially change the day. The petition says the shift would soften the Monday morning clock shock that many will feel after springing forward.

But not everyone is bummed.

Randy Alfred, 59, of Toronto, Canada, which also follows Daylight Saving Time, says he’d gladly trade that hour of sleep for more light in the evenings.

“My wife and I are walkers in the evening after work, and the dark takes the fun right out of it,” Alfred says. “We usually hit the sidewalks at 6 or 6:30 and it’s already dark. To us it means spring’s coming.”

Alfred is not alone.

“I look forward to it every year,” says Phaedra Steele, 44, of Orlando. “I feel alive when there is more daylight. We live on a lake and it allows us time to paddle board.”

One thing is certain: You have to remember to change your clocks. Otherwise, your sleep-deprived boss might not be so happy.

Source: USA Today