Reserve a 20-year letter and a survivor’s reserve benefit

Suppose you had 20 good pension years in the reserves on 1 June. Your end date for the retirement year (RYE) is August 1 of the same year. After August 1, in this example, your “20-year letter” should be uploaded to your electronic record.

A paper version will be sent to you and / or your device. Included in this mailing is a package on the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan. This plan allows you to choose from three plans:

Plan A: Allows you to wait until you are 60 to choose an option. If you die before you turn 60, your beneficiary will not receive an annuity.

Plan B: If you die before you turn 60, your beneficiary will receive annuities the day you would have turned 60.

Plan C: If you die before you turn 60, your beneficiary will receive annuities from your date of death.

If you have chosen ‘Plan A’ or ‘Plan B’, your spouse must also agree in writing by also signing the registration form.

By law, you are automatically enrolled in “Plan C.” If you don’t make an election, this election will become permanent. You have 90 days from the day you receive your survivor benefit package to make an election.

Who can be your beneficiary?

Husband: Your spouse must be married to you when you select one of the plans. You must get married the day you die. When you get divorced, you remarry, your new husband must have been married to you for a year. If you have a child with your new spouse before the first year’s wedding anniversary, that spouse is eligible when your child is born.

Spouse and children: If you choose this option, your spouse is subject to the same criteria listed above for “spouse”. This option allows your children to receive annuities if your spouse is not eligible for the annuities. This can happen if the spouse remarries before he turns 55, or through death.

Former spouse: A judge might oblige you to choose this option because of a divorce. You can also do this voluntarily. If you are remarried, you will need your current spouse to also sign the registration form. This option prevents your current spouse and children from receiving annuities if you die. This also applies if your ex-spouse is no longer eligible for annuities.

Former spouse and children: The same general criteria as the options “spouse and children” and “former spouse” above. This option prevents your current spouse and children from receiving annuities.

Insurable interest: This is for those who are not married but who have a dependent child. You can also choose a direct family member, such as a brother, sister, child, etc. are covered by this option.

Choose wisely; Your decision is final once military service has received your enrollment package.

If your beneficiary dies, you can “suspend” coverage. If you are getting married again, your new spouse must have been married to you for one year to qualify. The spouse may qualify for more than a year if you have a child. Use the “Survival Scheme Election Change Certificate, DD Form 2656-6” to suspend or resume coverage.


There is a basic premium and a premium reservist. The basic premium applies to option “A”. The reservation premium applies to options “B” and “C.” Everyone would pay the basic premium. The reserve premium covers benefits that could be received before the reservist turns 60.

Basic Premium:

You can choose your full pension check as the basic amount to calculate the contributions. You can also select a fraction of your pension check as the base amount to calculate contributions. You can select no less than $ 300.00 as the base amount. If your expected retirement wage is less than $ 300.00, you must select your full retirement wage.

If you choose an amount that is lower than your pension, your spouse must also sign your registration form.

Calculate base premium if the base amount is up to $ 1,601.00:

1. Multiply 2.5% by $ 747.00

2. Subtract $ 747.00 from the total base amount.

3. Take the result of step “2” and multiply it by 10%.

4. Add the results of steps “1” and “3”.

The result is the estimated base premium you pay.

Calculate base premium if base amount exceeds $ 1,601.00:

1. Multiply the base amount by 6.5%.

Premium reservation:

This is based on a percentage of your base amount. It depends on how old you are in relation to your partner. The older you are compared to your spouse, the higher your rate will be “per $ 100.00”. If your partner is older than you, use your age. If you look at the rates in one of the rate tables, use the age closer to the date you made your choice.

Suspension cover:

You can suspend your coverage if your beneficiaries are no longer eligible. This happens in the event of death or remarriage. If your spouse or former spouse remarries before age 55, the annuities stop until the spouse divorces again. You use the election change form to suspend coverage.

What forms do you receive when you receive your 20 Year Letter package?

This article is based on an Army Reserve retirement package. The Ministry of Defense forms are consistent between services. Each service has additional forms in these packages.

Notice of Eligibility for Retired Payment at 60 letter:

This letter will let you know that you have enough years to qualify for retirement.

If you qualify for retired wages for the armed forces, you are not eligible for this pension wage. Suppose you have been in active service for almost 18 years. You mobilize for a commitment that gives you more than 18 years of active service. You must submit a sanctuary pack to remain on active duty until you have been on active duty for 20 years.

In this scenario, you are eligible for regular military retirement, not your reserve pension. If you become medically divorced and accept severance payments related to that medical divorce, you will not be eligible for the pension.

The letter reminds you that you must maintain at least 50 points every retirement year to remain in active reserve status. This applies to those in the Troop Program Unit / (SELRES), Individual Ready Reserves and Individual Mobilization Augmentee program.

If you fall below that number after receiving this letter, you can retire involuntarily.

The letter continues with information about the required survivor’s scheme.

Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan Pack:

This package contains information about the survivors’ scheme for reservists. It contains an example of each of the plans. This package explains each option and provides information about your pension. You will find the following forms in your 20-year letter post:

1. Notice of eligibility to retire with 60 letters.

2. AHRC Form 4162: Accident Assistance Checklist.

3. DD Form 2656-1: Survivors’ Election Statement (SSB) for Covering Former Spouses.

4. DD form 2656-2: Request to terminate survivor benefit.

DD Form 2656-5: Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) Election Certificate.

6. DD Form 2656-6: Election allowance for survivors.

7. DD Form 2656-7: Verification of Survivors’ Annuities.

8. DD Form 2656-8: Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) – Automatic Coverage Fact Sheet.

You must complete and return the Survival Retirement Election Certificate. Save the other forms and let your beneficiary know. They are available in case you need to fill them in and return them later.


Army Human Resources Command “20 Year letter” and “Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan” mailing package.

Additional reading:

Army Regulation 600-8-7, Retirement Services Program.

Source by Travis Hill