Just weeks after the unveiling of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) Opt-in Course, interest in the new system is growing among opt-in eligible service members. The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that 44 percent of middle-class military families say they want to opt in to the new system, rather than be grandfathered into the current system. This level of interest has increased steadily in the last six months, when only 8 percent expressed interest in August.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of those surveyed are aware of the Opt-in Course (those eligible have until year-end to take the mandatory training). Nine in 10 are likely to consult a financial advisor prior to making the decision. Sixty-four percent of this group indicated they are extremely or very likely to seek help, especially those who are already working with a financial advisor. It’s not surprising that service members want help in making this long-term, vital decision. When asked to rank their most important military benefits, retirement pay ranked third, behind only basic pay and education benefits.
The upward trend line is the same for service members’ confidence in their ability to retire comfortably. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed in January feel extremely or very confident; that’s up from 45 percent in August. The number is even higher for those service members currently working with a financial advisor, at 73 percent.