Military service members in Florida and their loved ones should be aware that the Blended Retirement System becomes effective on the first day of 2018. As a result, significant changes will take place for military retirements. These changes could have a substantial effect on military families, particularly in regards to divorce settlements. According to one military divorce expert, the new BRS is expected to make military divorce cases more difficult for attorneys and may cause the ex-spouses of military service people some concern.
Studies show that the military divorce rate is 3.1 percent, which is just a little lower than that of the civilian divorce rate of 3.2 percent. However, there are special difficulties associated with marriage and divorce in the military.
One of the changes resulting from the BRS is that qualified service members will be recipients of Thrift Savings Plan contributions that will match their own deposits in the plan. They will also receive incentive bonuses toward the middle of their careers in addition to a reduced military pension if they have been in the military for at least 20 years.
Active service members who have been in the service for less than 12 years and members of the reserves who have not yet acquired 4,320 retirement points will have the opportunity to either enroll in the BRS or stay in what will be the legacy retirement program. They will have until the last day of 2018 to make a decision.
An attorney who practices family law might better serve military couples who are going through a divorce. The lawyer may assist clients with child custody or pension issues, which could be complicated by military regulations.