Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Heidi M. Tucholski, PhD.


The 2016 NDAA authorized changes to the military retirement system transitioning from the legacy High-3 defined benefit annuity to the new Blended Retirement System (BRS). In exchange for a reduced defined benefit annuity, the BRS incorporates automatic and matching contributions to the member’s Thrift Savings Plan and a continuation payment offered at 12 years of service. In 2018,service members with less than 12 years of service will make an irrevocable decision between the two retirement systems. This research effort addresses the problem by developing a decision analysis model incorporating up to 27 different input variables. Service members can use the associated spreadsheet tool to calculate the expected net present value of each alternative based on their own personal circumstances. We analyze 26 typical career demographic groups to understand how the recommended alternative is impacted by various factors including personal discount rate, expected continuation pay multiplier, and probability of reaching 20 years of service. Each demographic group must make difficult assessments of these variables in order to determine their preferred alternative. We conduct two-variable sensitivity analysis and present the results in third-variable break-even policy charts, providing members with clarity of thought and action as they approach the 2018 opt-in window.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number