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Retirement Services Handbook





This fact information site provides information to help you understand the provisions of SBP, but it is not a contract document. The basic statutory provision of SBP law are in chapter 73, title 10, United States Code.

The Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) is the only Reserve program that lets you leave a percentage of your future retired pay as a monthly annuity to your beneficiaries. The maximum annuity is 55 percent of your retired pay. This fact sheet tells how participation in RCSBP affects the general provisions of SBP. You should also be familiar with those general provisions (see the main booklet and other fact sheets).


Once you are notified that you qualify for Reserve retired pay, except for not yet being age 60, you are eligible for RCSBP. You may elect this coverage during a 90-day period beginning the day you receive your packet for "Participation in the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan" regardless of your military status, age, or health. If you die after becoming eligible for Reserve retired pay except for not yet being age 60, but before being notified of eligibility by your Reserve Component Personnel Center, or die after receiving your RCSBP election packet but before making an election within the 90-day period, your eligible spouse/children will receive an immediate annuity.


If you are eligible for retired pay at age 60, but die before age 60, space-available military medical care, TriCare, and unlimited commissary and exchange benefits are provided to your spouse and/or eligible dependents beginning when you would have been age 60. However, from the date of your death until the date when you would have been age 60, your spouse and/or eligible dependents continue to receive the same commissary and exchange benefits in effect at the time of your death.


SBP premiums and benefits are each a percentage of your elected "base amount," which may be your full monthly retired pay or a lesser amount, but not less than $300. If your monthly pay is less than $300, then your full monthly retired pay must be designated as the base amount. The base amount for an insurable interest beneficiary must be the full monthly retired pay. The base amount is increased at the same time and by the same percentage as the increase in retired pay (Cost-of-Living Adjustments or COLAs). Premium amounts are similarly adjusted as are the annuity payments.
There are three possible costs associated with RCSBP. These costs are not paid until you begin receiving your retired pay at age 60. The three types of costs are: Basic Costs, Reserve Portion Costs, and Supplemental Costs. Each cost is discussed below.


a. Basic Cost for Spouse/Former Spouse. All RCSBP elections have a basic SBP cost which is calculated as shown below:

$1,360 or less 2.5% of the first $635 (threshold amount) + 10% of the remainder $1,360 or more 6.5% of the SBP base amount Note: $635 was the threshold amount as of 1 January 2006. The threshold increases at the same time and by the same percentage as future active duty pay.
b. Basic Cost for Children. The cost to cover children is also based on a percentage of the SBP base amount. It is dependent on your age, the age of your youngest child, and the age of your spouse if applicable. Your pay and personnel center can assist you in determining your exact cost.
c. Basic Cost for Insurable Interest. The cost is 10 percent of full monthly retired pay, plus 5 percent for each full 5 years the beneficiary is younger than you. However, the total cost cannot exceed 40 percent of monthly retired pay.

If RCSBP Option B (Deferred Annuity) or Option C (Immediate Annuity) is elected, there is a Reserve Portion cost added to the basic cost to cover the additional benefit and assured protection should you die prior to age 60. The Reserve Portion cost is based on a percentage of the SBP base amount, and is dependent on your age and the age of your beneficiary at the time the RCSBP election is made.

The annuity is currently 55 percent of the base amount until age 62 and is 40 percent of the base amount if age 62 or older. Effective 1 April 2008, SBP will be a level 55 percent regardless of the annuitant’s age. Public Law 108-375, dated 28 October 2004, phases in the post age 62 SBP annuity increase.

Date Post 62 SBP Percentage
Current 40%
1 April 2006 45%
1 April 2007 50%
1 April 2008 55%
When you elect RCSBP coverage, the annuity is computed using the base amount reduced by the cost of the RCSBP program (Reservist Portion cost). Example 3, Appendix B shows how an RCSBP annuity is computed.

When the spouse (former spouse) reaches age 62, the annuity is reduced to the 35 percent level. Under SSBP you can, for an additional premium, increase the annuity from 35 percent to 40, 45, 50 or 55 percent. The increased annuity amounts are only available to those whose base amount is equal to their full retired pay and must be elected in conjunction with the initial participation decision. Example 4, Appendix B shows how an RCSBP annuity is computed when SSBP is elected.

The RCSBP annuity of a spouse will be reduced by the amount the spouse receives as DIC. Your spouse will be eligible for DIC payments only if you die of a service-connected cause. In the event the DIC payment is greater than the RCSBP annuity, the annuity will not be paid. In the event you are receiving retired pay at the time of death, your surviving spouse will receive a refund of all premiums you paid. When part of an RCSBP annuity is offset by DIC, premiums for the offset portion are refunded. The RCSBP spouse annuity reduction for DIC payments is made because both are federal programs and the government pays part of the costs. The combined income amount will always be at least equal to the full amount otherwise payable under RCSBP.
When considering your RCSBP election and possible annuity reductions, the important point to consider is that what you're leaving your spouse is permanent income based on your retired pay.

Your spouse/former spouse RCSBP annuity stops if your spouse or former spouse remarries before age 55. The annuity can resume if the marriage ends due to death or divorce. If your spouse/former spouse remarries after age 55, the RCSBP annuity continues.



Option A (DECLINE TO MAKE ELECTION UNTIL AGE 60) - You will remain eligible to elect Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage at age 60. An annuity will not be payable to your beneficiaries if you die before age 60. (NOTE: Effective 1 Jan 2001, married members must provide written spouse concurrence in order to elect this option.)

Option B (DEFERRED ANNUITY) - Provide coverage for an annuity to begin on the 60th anniversary of your birth, if you die before age 60, or to begin immediately if you die after age 60. (NOTE: Effective 1 Jan 2001, married members must provide written spouse concurrence in order to elect this option for "spouse only" or "spouse and child" beneficiaries.)

Option C (IMMEDIATE ANNUITY) - Provide coverage for an annuity to begin immediately, whether you die before or after age 60. (NOTE: Effective 1 Jan 2001, married members must provide written spouse concurrence in order to elect this option at less than the maximum level for "spouse only" or "spouse and children."



You may choose one of the following beneficiary designations. NOTE: Public Law 106-398, 30 Oct 2000, requires married members to provide spouse consent for certain elections.

Spouse only - To be eligible for an annuity your spouse must be married to you on the date your RCSBP election is made and married to you on the date of your death. In the event of a remarriage, your new spouse must be married to you for one year, or be the parent of a child by that marriage. NOTE: Effectve 1 Jan 2001, written spouse concurrence is required for "spouse only" elections under Option B and C, if at less than maximum level.

Child only - Coverage of children is limited to unmarried children under the age of 18, or under age 22 if in school pursuing a full-time course of study or training; or any age if incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical incapacity incurred while still eligible as defined above. NOTE: Effective 1 Jan 2001, married members must provide written spouse concurrence to cover these beneficiaries under Options B and C, at any level of coverage.

Spouse and Children - Same limitations as above; however, children will receive an RCSBP annuity only if your spouse becomes ineligible (through death or remarriage before age 55). NOTE: Effective 1 Jan 2001, married members must provide written spouse concurrence to cover these beneficiaries under Options B and C, at less than maximum level.

Insurable Interest - This coverage may be elected only if you are unmarried or are unmarried with a sole dependent child. Any person more closely related to you than a cousin qualifies as a beneficiary with an insurable interest in you. Any other person may qualify if you provide proof that person benefits in some manner from your continued life (a business partner, for instance).

Former Spouse and Child(ren) - You may elect to provide an annuity to a former spouse. You may also elect coverage for a former spouse and child if the child resulted from the marriage to your former spouse. You may elect these beneficiary options even though you are married or have a dependent child, but such an election prevents payment of an annuity to the current spouse or child. Under an election for former spouse and child, the child receives an RCSBP annuity only if the former spouse becomes ineligible.

Any change in beneficiary status must be reported immediately.




U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Fort Knox, KY 40121

Naval Reserve
US Navy Reserve Personnel Center Code 414
4400 Dauphine Street
New Orleans, LA 70149-7800
(504) 948-1836

Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve
Headquarters ARPC/DPAE
6760 E Irvington Pl, #1800
Denver, CO 80280-1800
1-800-525-0102 Ext 228
DSN 926-6526
(303) 676-6576

Marine Corps Reserve
Manpower & Reserve Affairs (MMSR6)
3280 Russell Rd.
Quantico, VA 22134-5103
(703) 784-9310/11

Coast Guard Reserve
Coast Guard Headquarters (G-RSM)
2100 2nd Street, SW
Washington, DC 20593-0001
(202) 267-0551




Retirement Services Office Contact Information

Office of the Adjutant General
ATTN: Retirement Services Office
2405 Logistics Dr.
Jefferson City, MO 65101-1203

RSO, Annette Jennings, 573-638-9648,
Retirement Services Asst, Ms. Emily Elder, 573-638-9500 ext 7011,

Retirement Service Asst, SSG Jason Hollandsworth, 573-638-9797,



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