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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions

David F. Burrelli
Specialist in Military Manpower Policy

The military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) was created in 1972. Since its creation, it has been subjected to many legislative changes. This report describes the basic provisions of the military Survivor Benefit Plan and all relevant changes or modifications that have occurred.

Specifically, the military Survivor Benefit Plan is described and explained in terms of its eligibility provisions, costs, benefits, and its current or former integration with other federal programs (including social security and Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) for members and retirees of active duty military service and the Reserve Components (both the reserves and National Guard). In addition, tables and work sheets are provided to assist the reader in computing the costs and benefits available under this program.

Nearly every Congress since 1972 has, in some way, modified the provisions of the military Survivor Benefit Plan. These modifications have had a significant effect on current and prospective participants and beneficiaries. In nearly every instance, these changes have made the SBP more generous. Furthermore, these modifications involve complex issues and processes, and are, therefore, a source of numerous requests for information from constituents to their congressional representatives.

Date of Report: January 12, 2011
Number of Pages: 22
Order Number: RL31664
Price: $29.95

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