First Command Launches Analyzer Tool for Military Families Considering New Retirement System

First Command Financial Advisors are using the New Military
Retirement Analyzer to show career service members how benefits of
opting in to the new system compare to current pension program

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amid growing demand for professional advice on the government’s new
military retirement system
, First Command Financial Services, Inc.
is rolling out a new planning tool designed to help current active-duty
families decide between opting in to the new, blended retirement plan
and sticking with their traditional pension.

Called The New Military Retirement Analyzer, this proprietary tool is
designed for First Command Financial Advisors to show career service
members how anticipated benefits under the new system compare to the
current pension program. The analysis is intended to give military
members unique insights into their own family finances so they can make
informed decisions about their retirement planning.

“The new military retirement system has made long-term financial
planning a lot more complicated and less guaranteed,” said Scott Spiker,
CEO of First Command. “The Analyzer is intended to help America’s career
military families weigh the value of the cash contributions and other
benefits of the new plan against the certainties and guarantees of the
traditional military pension. While the decision between the two plans
doesn’t need to be made until 2018, our active-duty clients are already
asking questions and coming to our Advisors for answers. They know they
have to get this decision right. Their lifetime financial security is at

The new system, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, calls for a 20
percent reduction in current retirement pay in exchange for a defined
contribution program of automatic and matching Thrift Savings Plan
contributions, a mid-career continuation pay bonus and options to
receive a portion of retirement pay as a lump sum. Proponents say the
new structure will offer greater financial flexibility and pave the way
for a higher percentage of service members to leave the military with at
least some retirement savings. But among current service members, the
argument in favor of lifetime financial security is making the
traditional pension the preferred option. Recent results of the First
Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal four out of five middle-class
military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades
E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who say they
are likely to serve to full retirement want to be grandfathered into the
current retirement system.

“Defined contribution plans generally have not worked better for
middle-class Americans in building a suitable income for retirement,”
Spiker said. “There is no reason to believe they will work better for
our middle-class military force either. While every family situation is
different, we anticipate that in most cases military families will want
to stick with the traditional pension. The results of the Analyzer will
typically reinforce this decision.”

The Index reveals that 87 percent of career military families say they
are likely to consult a financial advisor for help with the opt-in
decision. But for career service members who are still on the fence
about seeking professional help, First Command is illustrating the value
of knowledgeable advice through a simplified version of the Analyzer.
Called the New Military Retirement Preview, this mobile app is intended
to give service members and their families a quick demonstration of the
type of comparative analysis that First Command Financial Advisors can
provide through the more powerful Analyzer tool. The Preview app is
offered directly through First Command Financial Advisors.

About the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®

Compiled by Sentient Decision Science, Inc., the First Command Financial
Behaviors Index® assesses trends among the American public’s
financial behaviors, attitudes and intentions through a monthly survey
of approximately 530 U.S. consumers aged 25 to 70 with annual household
incomes of at least $50,000. Results are reported quarterly. The margin
of error is +/- 4.3 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About Sentient Decision Science, Inc.

Sentient Decision Science was commissioned by First Command to compile
the Financial Behaviors Index®. SDS is a behavioral science and
consumer psychology consulting firm with special vertical expertise
within the financial services industry. SDS specializes in advanced
research methods and statistical analysis of behavioral and attitudinal

About First Command

First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First
Command Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American
families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their
lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the
first and most powerful determinant of results. Through knowledgeable
advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success,
First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting
relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.

First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First
Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member
First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services,
Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment
products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial
Planning, Inc. , a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment
advisory services are offered by First Command Advisory Services, Inc.,
an investment adviser.
Insurance products and services are offered
by First Command Insurance Services, Inc., in all states except Montana,
where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by
First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic
corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command
Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance
Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation.
Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may
lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement
or other financial goals will be met.
First Command Financial
Services, Inc. and its related entities are not affiliated with,
authorized to sell or represent on behalf of or otherwise endorsed by
any federal employee benefits programs referenced, by the U.S.
government, or the U.S. armed forces.


First Command Financial Services
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419