Make the Most of the New Military Retirement Plan

The government is offering a new retirement option so that service members who leave the military before qualifying for a pension can still receive some benefits.

Question: I’m in the Navy, and I chose to enroll in the military’s new blended retirement system last year. How can I make the most of the new plan?

Answer: To get the most out of the new retirement system, make sure you contribute enough to the federal Thrift Savings Plan to qualify for a matching contribution—something the old system doesn’t offer—from the Department of Defense. You can also boost your retirement savings the longer you stay in the Navy.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.