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Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan

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Reservists who complete 20 years of satisfactory service are entitled to apply for retired pay once they reach age 60. If the Reservist dies prior to reaching age 60, entitlement to retired pay terminates. The only way your survivor(s) may receive a payment from the Military in the form of an annuity, if you die prior to age 60, is through the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP).

Election Options at time of 20-year satisfactory service letter:

Option A. Under this option, the reservist declines coverage until reaching retired pay eligibility at age 60. At that time, survivor coverage will become automatic under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) unless specifically declined, or a lesser coverage is elected with the reservist's spouse's concurrence. Election of Option A means that if the member dies prior to reaching age 60, the survivor is not covered by a military annuity.

Option B. Election of this option means that if the member dies prior to reaching age 60, the beneficiary would be entitled to an annuity when the Reservist would have reached age 60. Member may elect to provide an annuity based on full or reduced retired pay.

Option C. Election of this option means that if the member dies prior to reaching age 60, the beneficiary would be entitled to an annuity starting immediately. Member may elect to provide an annuity based on full or reduced retired pay.

NOTE: If an election is not made by the Reservist, or not received by the Reserve Componant within 90 days from the issuance of the 20 years satisfactory service letter, the member will be automatically enrolled in Option C at the full level of retired pay. If the Reservist declines, or elects reduced coverage, the member's spouse must concur with that election as per Public Law 106-398, Section 655 (October 30, 2000).

Beneficiaries: You may elect to provide an annuity under the RCSBP for the following beneficiaries:

    • Spouse - An annuity would be paid to the eligible spouse for life, unless the spouse remarries prior to age 55.

    • Spouse and Children - The spouse would be the primary beneficiary, and the children contingent beneficiaries.

    • Children Only - Children would receive an annuity until age 18 (or age 22 if continuing education on a full time basis).

    • Incapacitated Children - Incapacitated children would receive an annuity as long as they remain unmarried, and incapacitation exists.

    • Former Spouse - An annuity would be paid to the former spouse elected.

    • Former Spouse and Children - The former spouse would be the primary beneficiary, and the children contingent beneficiaries.

    • Insurable Interest Person - A person who depends on your income for support, i.e. Parent, Dependent or Non-Dependent Child, Relative, Business Associate, etc. Electing Insurable Interest provides an annuity during the life of the beneficiary.

Election Opportunities:

    • Within 90 days from the issuance of your 20 year satisfactory service letter.

    • If Option A is elected at time of 20 year satisfactory service letter, and spouse concurs, member will have an opportunity to elect into the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) at age 60.

NOTE: If Reservist declines RCSBP at completion of 20 years (elects Option A with spouse concurrence), and dies before reaching age 60, the survivors will not be entitled to receive a Military annuity.

Annuity:

FULL LEVEL: Election to provide RCSBP at the full level means the annuity will be computed based on the reserve member's full amount of retired pay as explained below.

    • The full amount of retired pay will be called the RCSBP Base Amount.

    • The annuity is computed by first reducing the Base Amount by the Reserve Portion Cost (RPC), and then that amount times 55%. When the annuitant becomes age 62 the above computation is reduced to 35%.

REDUCED LEVEL: Election to provide RCSBP at the reduced level means the annuity will be computed based on the member's elected dollar amount, any amount from $300.00 to full amount of retired pay as explained below. (If full amount of retired pay is less than $300.00 the full amount of retired pay would be considered as the RCSBP base amount.)

    • The reduced amount elected is called the RCSBP Base Amount.

    • The annuity is computed by first reducing the Base Amount by the Reserve Portion Cost (RPC), and then that amount times 55%. When the annuitant becomes age 62 the above computation is reduced to 35%.

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