But while new service members are automatically enrolled in the plan, those with less than 12 years of service as of Jan. 1, 2018, were eligible to join the BRS by opting in.
Uniformed service members previously had access to a defined benefit plan but had to serve at least 20 years to receive the annuity. The payment amount was determined by their years of service and the average of their highest 36 months of basic pay, but only a small portion of service members reached the 20-year plateau. Historically, 19% of active-duty service members ultimately received retirement funds, according to a news release from Ms. Murray.
The BRS offers service members a defined contribution option as part of the TSP, as well as a reduced pension should they hit the 20-year mark.
A 2019 survey sponsored by the Military Family Advisory Network and referenced in Ms. Murray's news release found that more than 44% of respondents did not know which retirement plan they had chosen. Of those respondents, 26.4% would change retirement plans if given the option.
The RESOURCES Act would also require additional training for military families on the BRS; expand and enhance financial training available to service members and their families; create a Department of Defense advisory council on financial readiness; require financial counseling for service members receiving loans from military welfare societies; and enact additional disclosures and greater transparency surrounding lump-sum payments.
"The last thing the women and men bravely serving our country, and their families, should have to worry about is how they'll make ends meet once they finish their service," Ms. Murray said in the news release. "But right now, too many of our service members don't have the financial support they need to succeed."
Ms. Murray first introduced the bill in June 2020, but it did not go further.