Survivor Benefit Plan

The Survivor Benefit Plan provides an annuity to your designated survivor(s) based on a specified dollar amount of your retired pay. Depending on the coverage you elect, an annuity may be paid to your spouse/former spouse only, your child(ren) only, your spouse/former spouse and child(ren), or a person with an insurable interest. You are automatically enrolled in SBP with maximum coverage when you retire if you have a spouse or dependent children, unless you elect a lesser coverage or no coverage. Surviving family members can be eligible for up to 55 percent of retired pay through SBP. Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increases reflect increases to retired pay. Payments are made through an allotment system from retired pay. The surviving spouse must pay taxes on the SBP annuity.

If the retired service member dies of a service connected disability, the surviving spouse may be eligible to receive a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payment from the VA. The surviving spouse does not pay taxes on the DIC annuity. The SBP annuity is offset by the DIC received by the surviving spouse, which means the surviving spouse would not receive the SBP plus the DIC payment. A certain portion of the SBP premiums could be repaid to the surviving spouse if this offset happens. Further information can be found on at http://www.dfas.mil/retiredpay/survivorbenefits.html.

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