Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
Below are links to briefings, documents and websites that provide you a complete overview of the Department of Defense Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) program.
Congress established SBP in 1972 to provide retiring Soldiers a means to provide a portion of their retired pay to their eligible survivors. The SBP is paid to survivors as a monthly annuity. For a married Soldier at retirement, electing spouse SBP is a joint decision between the retiring Soldier and spouse. By law, the spouse must concur with any SBP election that provides less than the full spouse SBP coverage. The SBP cost is deducted monthly from retired pay before taxes are calculated. Electing SBP extends the benefit of retired pay past the lifetime of the Retired Soldier to the surviving spouse.
The SBP Fact Sheets below provide detailed information on parts of the SBP program that may apply to your particular situation.
If you have questions, contact your Retirement Services Officer (RSO).
Survivor Benefit Plan Basics
- Read the Department of the Army SBP Briefing - PDF
- Department of the Army Reserve Component SBP Briefing - PDF
- SBP Elections After Retirement - PDF
- SBP Booklet - "The Simple Facts" - PDF - Provides an overview of the program, supplemented by Fact Sheets listed below.
- For a personalized estimate of SBP costs and annuity payments, use the calculators available at MyArmyBenefits.
- SBP, Basic Questions Answered - PDF - A brochure that answers basic SBP questions.
- RCSBP, Basic Questions Answered - PDF - A brochure that answers basic RCSBP questions.
- SBP Facts vs. Myths - PDF
- The SBP Facts Retiring and Retired Soldiers With VA Disability Need to Know - PDF
- DoD Actuary website - Information about replacing SBP with life insurance, DoD subsidies for SBP premiums, and the probability that a spouse will outlive the Retired Soldier and collect SBP payments. Click on " Survivor Benefit Plan" (at the top of the DoD Actuary page) and choose the topic of interest.
- Initial RCSBP Election - PDF
- Maintaining RCSBP Elections - PDF
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) - PDF - A brochure outlining the treatment of retired pay and the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) as property, it also provides information on former spouses' eligibility for an identification card.
Survivor Benefit Plan Fact Sheets
- Spouse Coverage - PDF
- Child Coverage - PDF
- Former Spouse Coverage - PDF
- Member Remarriage - PDF
- Insurable Interest Coverage - PDF
- Reserve Component SBP - PDF
- SBP and Taxes - PDF
- VA Payments and SBP - PDF
- Withdrawal from SBP - PDF
- Financial Analysis - PDF - A DoD Actuary document provides basic insights on the financial implications of SBP. It shows how SBP can provide a strong foundation for lifelong security at a reasonable cost.