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Blended Retirement System may affect military divorce

The retirement plan of U.S. military service people is changing next year, reports one news outlet. They write that, in 2018, the pension plan will be reduced, and the Department of Defense will then begin automatic and matching contributions into Thrift Savings Plans for service members. Some say the change may have unforeseen effects on divorce settlements. Although divorce rates are dropping, the new change could potentially affect many people in Wyoming. 

The military has introduced a new plan, called the Blended Retirement System. The plan begins Jan. 1, 2018. It introduces new guidelines for pensions, retirements accounts and bonuses. Members who have 12 years or less of military experience will have the option whether to continue with the current plan or switch to the new one. The decision must be made by the end of 2018. 

The pension amount will be less if a person chooses the BRS instead of the former "legacy" plan. For couples that have divorced in 2017, it is unclear whether the former spouse will have a claim to, or even be informed of, the change in the retirement benefits, which will possibly affect divorce agreements that were made this year. Some have said that, while it is unclear, it is possible a divorced spouse will have no claim to the new Thrift Savings Plans.

A bonus associated with the new plan could potentially affect child support or alimony payments also. Individuals who are facing or who have recently undergone a military divorce may be wondering what decisions are to be made in the face of the information about the new retirement plan. Wyoming individuals may choose to contact a lawyer for more help. 

Source: AmeriForce Media, "BRS and Military Divorce", Oct. 11, 2017

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