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GAO calls for military to give better pension data to retiring service members

Report says Pentagon must provide better information on how troops save for retirement.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — They've fought for our country. Now, service members need the military to give them better information on how to save for retirement.

That's the key finding in a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

 At 2.87 million people, the Department of Defense is America's largest employer. But, in the new report by the GAO says service members need better information to support their own retirement savings decisions.

 At question is the troops' "financial literacy" -- what they know, or don't know, about preparing for their individual futures.

"Potentially, if they make the wrong decisions, then, retirement might not be as rosy as they might hope," said Charles Jeszeck, Director in GAO's Education, Workforce and Income Security team.

In 2016, the Pentagon and individual branches began a multi-year effort to provide training to help service members make informed decisions about saving for retirement through the DOD's new "Blended Retirement System."

"Ultimately, the new system places more responsibility, more choices on individual personnel," said Jeszeck. "We just want to make sure that all military personnel have the right information so they can make the right decisions for themselves."

Jeszeck says, after serving the nation, military men and women deserve to enjoy a safe and financially sound retirement.

"People who join the military, they're making a major sacrifice, a commitment to our country," he said. "We're proud of their service and we want to make sure they're treated fairly."

And, this is, of course, a huge issue for the Hampton Roads economy, with more than 80,000 active-duty personnel living and working here.

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