Military Survivor Benefit Plan
Military Survivor Benefits Improvement Act of 1989 - Revises the reduction in retired pay for participants in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). Differentiates, in the level premium to be paid each month by participants in the Plan, as to whether the annuity being provided is a standard or reserve-component annuity.
Permits certain individuals to choose either the current reduction provision or the revised standard, depending on their needs and circumstance.
Ensures that the SBP annuity for a surviving spouse will be based on the grade of the retirement-eligible officer at the time of death, regardless of time served in such grade.
Directs the Secretary of the military department concerned to carry out a program, to be known as the Supplemental Survivor Benefit Plan (SSBP), which would enable participants in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) who are providing coverage for a spouse or former spouse beneficiary under the SBP to also provide a supplemental annuity for that spouse or former spouse beginning when the participant dies or when the spouse or former spouse becomes 62 years of age, whichever is later, in order to offset the effects of the two-tier annuity computation under the SBP. Outlines the following administrative provisions concerning the SSBP:
(1) commencement of annuity;
(2) the amount of such annuity for the beneficiary of a person providing the standard or the reserve-component annuity under the SBP (the latter annuity further defined by whether or not the beneficiary under the SSBP is initially under 62 years of age at the commencement of the annuity); and
(3) adjustments in such annuities required by periodic adjustments in the cost-of-living index.
Terminates a SSBP annuity when the beneficiary dies or otherwise becomes ineligible to continue to receive an annuity under the original SBP. Allows a person who provides an annuity for a spouse or former spouse under SBP to elect to provide a supplemental spouse annuity under these provisions.
Requires a person providing a supplemental spouse annuity to be a participant in the SBP in order to cover a spouse or former spouse under the SSBP. Requires such election to be voluntary.
Allows a person to make such an election only if the beneficiary of such person's annuity is not currently computed under the determination of spouse or former spouse beneficiary annuity under the SBP. Allows a person who anticipates becoming a participant in the SBP who has a spouse or former spouse to elect to provide a supplemental spouse annuity under the SSBP. Outlines conditions and requirements for such an anticipatory election.
Requires a person to actually provide a spouse or former spouse annuity under the SBP in order to provide a supplemental spouse annuity under SSBP. Allows a person who elects to provide SBP coverage for a former spouse after having been an SBP participant without coverage for that former spouse to also provide a supplemental spouse annuity for such former spouse under the SSBP. Requires notice to a current spouse of a person providing coverage under the SBP and the SSBP to a former spouse.
Provides for irrevocability after a specified period of time of the election to provide SSBP coverage under both a standard annuity and a reserve-component annuity.
Authorizes provision of a supplemental spouse annuity under the above provisions by a person who is a participant in the SBP and is providing coverage for a spouse (or spouse and child) but is not a participant in the SSBP, who does not have an eligible spouse under that Plan, and who remarries, thereby allowing such person to elect to provide such coverage for the former spouse.
Requires the person to be under the SBP in order to make the election for such coverage under the SSBP. Outlines conditions for such an election.
Outlines administrative guidelines to be followed:
(1) when there is a change of a former spouse beneficiary under the SBP to a current spouse or child beneficiary under the SBP; and
(2) upon reinstatement of an SSBP annuity after discontinuance of an SBP annuity and reinstatement of such annuity.
Requires a person who elects to provide a SSBP annuity to a former spouse to provide the Secretary concerned with a written statement as to whether the election being made is pursuant to a written agreement incident to a divorce, dissolution, or annulment that has been incorporated in, or ratified or approved by, a court order.
Outlines administrative provisions concerning the enforcement of such voluntary written agreements ratified by a court order.
Provides a time limit for the making of such an election of one year after the date of the court order or filing involved.
Directs the retired pay of a person electing to provide a supplemental spouse annuity under the above provisions to be reduced each month as required under prescribed regulations.
Outlines considerations for the determination of such regulations by the Secretary of Defense. Prohibits any reduction during any month in which there is no eligible spouse or former spouse beneficiary.
Requires the amount of the reduction to be adjusted whenever there is an adjustment to the reduction in retired pay for beneficiary coverage under the original SBP. Directs the President to prescribe regulations to implement the SSBP. Authorizes an eligible retired or former member of the armed forces to participate in the SBP during an open enrollment period.
Allows such person, at the same time, to also elect to participate in the SSBP. Defines as eligible a person who on the day before the first day of the open enrollment period is not a participant in the SBP and is either entitled to retired pay or would be so entitled but for the fact that such member or former member is under 60 years of age (for reserve members or former members).
Allows a person who is a participant in the SBP but not at the maximum base amount while providing coverage for a dependent child but not for a spouse or former spouse to:
(1) elect to participate in the SBP at a higher amount; or
(2) elect to provide an annuity under the SBP for a spouse or former spouse.
Authorizes current SBP participants to elect to participate in the SSBP during the open enrollment period.
Outlines those persons eligible to make such an election and sets limitations on eligibility for certain SBP participants not affected by the two-tier annuity computation (a computation that differentiates in the annuity amount depending on whether the annuitant has attained the age of 65).
Requires any SSBP election to be made in writing, signed by the person making the election, and received by the Secretary concerned before the end of the open enrollment period.
Defines the open enrollment period as the one-year period beginning on October 1, 1991.
States that if a person dies before the end of a two-year period after making such an election, the election is void and the amount of reduction in retired pay taken as a result of such election shall be paid in a lump sum to the person's beneficiary under the SBP.