Every new military member is enrolled in the Blended Retirement System, and many older military members chose to opt-in to the BRS. It’s been several years since the BRS was implemented, but there is still a TON of misinformation out there.
In an attempt to make sure everyone is getting as much information as possible, here’s a list of every online resource I know to learn about BRS. It is vitally important that every service member who is eligible to opt-in to BRS understands what they’re choosing.
Keep in mind, though, that this information isn’t just available online. Installation family support centers have personal financial counselors/specialists who can meet with individuals to make sure they understand what they’re reading and hearing. Lastly, you can get individual education, online or via the telephone through Military OneSource.
Joint Knowledge Online (JKO)
The official place to learn this information is through Joint Knowledge Online (JKO). Spouses who do not have a Common Access Card (CAC) may apply for a JKO account at this webpage: https://secure.jten.mil/jkohd/sponsored.jsp. Depending on your computer’s settings, you may have to click through some security warnings to get to the page. This account request will require validation from a .gov, .mil, ndu.edu, nps.edu or dodea.edu email address.
There are five BRS trainings available at JKO:
- Blended Retirement System (BRS) Opt-In Course (this is the course that is mandatory for BRS-eligible service members)
- Blended Retirement System (BRS) Financial Counselor-Educator Course
- Leader Training to Introduce the Blended Retirement System (BRS) for the Uniformed Services
- Blended Retirement Calculator Course (Active) (this course online shows up after enrolling in the previous classes)
- Blended Retirement Calculator Courses (Reserve) (this course online shows up after enrolling in the previous classes)
The Department of Defense
Main BRS webpage with lots of links – there is an amazing amount of information linked form this page!
The Department of Defense has put together a playlist of videos about BRS. These include:
Military OneSource offers a variety of resources, including:
When you’re looking for different perspectives or non-official information, there are many websites and blogs that are talking about BRS.
Military Life Planning with Daniel Kopp:
Christine Maxwell of Her Money Moves:
Airmen Mildollar from Military Dollar:
Sean Gillespie from Redeployment Wealth Strategies
Military Families Magazine: 3 Things to Consider with the Blended Retirement System
the Atlantic’s City Lab: How a Change to Military Benefits Will Affect Millions of Workers
If you’re in the BRS, be sure that you understand all the nuances and benefits. It’s a great retirement plan and you should make the most of it.
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