When a military Servicemember passes away, the retirement pay stops.
This can cause a hardship with the military surviving spouse benefits who is left without an income source, and that can spell ruin for many service member families. If you are a military retired member, you need to sit down and take a long look at contingency planning, and what are the likely difficulties and hardships that your surviving spouse will have to face? The loss of your retirement pay can be a devastating heartache for your family that you leave behind.
One positive option open to the service member is the Survivor Benefit program. The SBP is a program insurance plan to help your surviving spouse receive a portion of your retirement pay in the form of a monthly allotment. The loss of your retirement income does not need to be crippling, and the survivor benefit plan can help protect against that happening.
The survivor benefit plan is designed to help protect against:
-Your military survivor spouse benefits.
Starting 1 October 2008, SBP program participants who are enrolled in the Survivor Benefit plan and retired have a new date to mark on their calendars. Retired Survivor Benefit plan members who have made payments for thirty years (three hundred sixty payments) and who achieve seventy years of age, will no longer have to pay continued premiums. Their SBP coverage will continue forward and be in paid up status.
At retirement age, if you take no action you will be automatically enrolled in the Survivor Benefit plan if you take no other action. You cannot decline or reduce your coverage without having the written permission of your spouse. So it’s a wise choice to sit down with your spouse and discuss these options before its time to retire, as you both have to sign to set the process in motion. You may choose coverage for a spouse, children, or former spouse. In some Cases you can sometimes elect to cover a business partner, or a parent. This is called coverage of an Insurable Interests, and is sometimes available if you have no other dependents.
The premiums can vary quite a bit, and depend mostly on the benefit amount that you elect for your coverage. SBP coverage, benefits, and premiums are calculated on the benefit level or base amount that you choose. You can select full coverage down to as little at $300 dollars a month. Full coverage taken at the time of retirement will equal your spouse able to receive fifty five percent of your retirement income.