Retirement Services Office (RSO)
Survivor Benefit Plan - (SBP)
Without SBP, retired pay stops with the death of the retiree.
SBP was established by PL 92-425, 21 Sept 1972, so that retiring Soldiers could elect to provide the continuation of a portion of retired pay to their designated beneficiary(ies). Retired Soldiers pay for SBP coverage with a percentage of their retired pay. The SBP payment is deducted from retired pay before the retired pay is taxed -- it's a tax-free payment.
SBP changes retired pay from a “single-life payout” to a “joint and survivor payout”. A single-life payout lasts only for the lifetime of the Retired Soldiers. While this maximizes the monthly income for the Retired Soldiers, it eliminates benefits for the surviving spouse. A joint and survivor payout stretches retired pay over the lifetime of the Retired Soldiers and the spouse. Monthly payments are reduced, but they are guaranteed to last over the lifetimes of two people.
The original Congressional intent was that SBP:
- Would be a two-tiered benefit with a reduction at age 62 when the surviving spouse became eligible for Social Security. (NOTE: The benefit is NOT reduced at age 62 as a result of a law change in the FY05 National Defense Authorization Act.)
- Would be cost-shared between the government and the Retired Soldier on a 40/60 basis.
- Would ensure that any surviving spouse of a retiring Soldier who elects SBP would never be without a monthly income.
Below are links to briefings, documents and websites that give you all the facts on SBP.
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) - top
- History - PDF (posted 02/12)
- SBP Booklet - "The Simple Facts" - PDF (posted 02/12) provides an overview of the program, supplemented by Fact Sheet listed below
- SBP Programs (from the DoD Actuary's Web site) includes programs to calculate SBP premium and SBP government subsidy
- The Negatives of SBP: Are They Really? - PDF 3,403 Kb (posted 2/11)
- SBP, Basic Questions Answered - PDF 1,631 Kb (trifold, posted 2/11)
- RCSBP, Basic Questions Answered - PDF 1,263 Kb (trifold, posted 2/11)
- SBP Briefing Slides with Text - PPT 2,681 Kb (posted 02/12)
- Maintaining SBP after Election - PDF 2,400 Kb
To view the PowerPoint Slideshow click on the link. To view the Slideshow AND read the notes that go with it, download the PowerPoint Presentation: right click on the link and select “Save Target As”.
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Fact Sheets - top
These fact sheets are updates to "The Simple Facts"
- Spouse Coverage - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Child Coverage - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Former Spouse Coverage - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Member Remarriage - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Insurable Interest Coverage - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Reserve Component SBP - PDF (posted 05/12)
- Premium Worksheet - PDF (posted 02/12)
- SBP and Taxes - PDF (posted 02/12)
- VA Payments and SBP - PDF (posted 02/12)
- Withdrawal from SBP - PDF 60 Kb (posted 02/12)
- Financial Analysis - PDF (posted 02/12)