A proposed overhaul of the military retirement system has emerged as the No. 1 financial worry of  military families, easily surpassing the economy and related issues in a ranking of top money concerns, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

Seventy-one percent of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) said government cuts to military retirement benefits concerned them the most. The economy came in second at 54 percent, followed closely by the cost of gas at 51 percent. Notably, the ability to retire comfortably was cited by half of survey respondents, making retirement issues two of the top four financial concerns in military families. The Index reveals that just 35 percent of survey respondents said they are extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably.

“These findings are a dramatic indicator of the growing level of concern in active-duty families regarding their long-term financial futures,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services Inc. “While the continuing economic turmoil weighs heavily on many middle-class families, the proposed overhaul of the military retirement system has become an even more critical financial concern of our men and women in uniform.”