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Old 16 November 2011, 22:44
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Retired Reservist Benefits After Death

My father was a Rerired Reservist with 20 years in. He passed away last year at 58 years of age. I was doing some research and was wondering if I was entitled to any retirement pay he would have began receiving at age 60? He had an VGLI of $20,000 that was sent to me and my sis who were the sole beneficiaries. But from what I can see and assume thru my research is that we would be entitled to his retirement pay in the event of his passing? Since he passed on at the age of 58, he was in the process of submitting his paperwork for the reserve retirement pay. We actually found the completed form in his personal documents. I don't want to sound like I'm cold hearted and looking for money, but my father certainly earned it and if there was any money to be had he would have wanted my sis and I to get it. I found standard form 1174 on the DFAS site and was wondering if it is what I should submit? I also tried contacting them directly by phone with no luck (I live overseas and Skype is spotty at best). Any info/guidance/answers are greatly appreciated.
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Old 17 November 2011, 08:53
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Stopp700 Stopp700 is online now
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First I am sorry for your lost of your Dad.
Take a look at this link: http://militarypay.defense.gov/survi..._overview.html
This is a program you dad "might" of applied for. If he did you would then have to find out who was the beneficary.
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Old 17 November 2011, 10:13
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At the point your father reached 20 years of credible service for reserve retirement, he would a received a thick packet in the mail. In that packet would be a "Notification of Eligibility to Receive Retirement Benefits at Age 60" (commonly referred to as the "20 year letter") and he would have received a "Survivor Benefit Plan" (SBP) information and election packet. SBP is the program in which he agrees to receive lesser retirement pay in exchange for payments to continue to a survivor upon his death. If he was married, his wife would have been required to agree in his election if he decided not to enroll in SBP.

At the time of the 20 year letter he would have had three choices:

1 - Elect to sign up for SBP immediately.

In that case there would be two sub-options:

a - Provide for benefits should he die prior to age 60.
b - Provide for benefits only after he reached (or would have reached) age 60.

2 - Wait until he applies for retirement pay at age 60 to decide what to do.
Again, if he is married, he would have been required to obtain spouse agreement with anything other than "sign up for full benefits."

So you should check your father's papers and see if he kept a copy of his election at the time he received his 20 year letter. If he declined it, or if he elected to defer making a decision until he turned age 60, then there will be no SBP benefits for the survivors.

Also, be adviced an SBP plan election must be in favor of a named beneficiary, since the age of the beneficiary is a factor in determining the reduction of the retiree's pension. Obviously, a retiree who has a benefit plan in effect for a young beneficiary "pays more" (has more of his retired pay reduced) since there is a stronger probability that benefits will continue to be paid long after his death.
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Old 17 November 2011, 10:54
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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CB & Stopp700,
Thanks for the info. I'll contact my sister back in NC since I waived my rights of being the executor over to her since I live overseas and she handled his estate. As I said, when we looked thru his paperwork, I saw an application for retirement benefits which included instructions to fill out and apply at age 58, which he was at time of death. I don't remember seeing anything pertaining to the SBP when we found his 20 year letter and VGLI packet. I'll call my Sis and see if she might have anything like you're describing.
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