SBP was designed to provide income protection not only to your spouse, but also to your children until they become self-supporting (i.e., until they are no longer dependents). Child coverage may be elected with or without spouse (former spouse) coverage.
Children are eligible for SBP payments as long as they are unmarried, under age 18, or under age 22 if still in school. A child who is disabled and incapable of self-support remains eligible if the disability occurred before age 18 (or before age 22 if a full time student). Marriage at any age will terminate a child's eligibility. If you elect former spouse and children coverage, only those eligible children from the marriage between you and your former spouse are covered.
Your children who are under 22 years of age and pursuing a full time course of study or training in a high school, trade school, technical or vocational institute, junior college, college, university, or comparable recognized educational institute are eligible to receive SBP benefits. While pursuing a full time course of study or training, a child whose twenty-second birthday occurs before July 1 or after August 31 of a calendar year, is considered to be 22 years of age on the first day of July after that birthday.
Acquiring a Child after Retirement
If a member has no eligible dependent child upon retirement, SBP coverage may be provided for the first child acquired (born, adopted, etc) after retiring. However, the member must properly notify DFAS within the first year of acquiring the child to provide SBP coverage.
The payments for children equal 55 percent of your covered retired pay. All eligible children divide this benefit in equal shares. If the SBP election was for spouse (or former spouse) and children, the children receive payments if the spouse is dead or dies, or otherwise becomes ineligible for the annuity. The following is an example of benefit payments for four children and for the remaining children when one child becomes ineligible:
The example is based on the following information:
- Number of children: 4
- Base amount $2,000
- Base amount multiplied by 55% $1,100
- Amount of annuity divided by the number of children $1,100 / 4
- Amount each child will receive $275
If the oldest child becomes ineligible because of age, marriage or because he or she is no longer a full time student after the age of 18, the other 3 children will receive payment and the annuity amount per child will be as follows:
SBP Costs (Premiums)
- Annuity amount: $1,100
- Amount of annuity divided by the number of children $1,100 / 3
- Amount each child will receive $366.67
Costs for child coverage are based on your age and the age of your youngest child at the time of election. Costs for child coverage stop when all children are no longer eligible to receive payments. Contact DFAS or your personnel counselor for an exact cost computation. The table below shows the monthly cost for selected cases of child only coverage per $1,000 of covered retired pay.
Example: If you are age 50 and your youngest child is 14 years of age at the time of your retirement, the cost per $1,000 of covered retired pay is $2.90.
*Rates effective as of January 1, 2010, and are subject to change.
**Ages shown are ages at time of election