Originally Posted by JinAZ
I am retired military and have elected the SBP entitlement. My wife and I both now get our own Social Security benefit each month. She will receive 55% of my base military retired pay should I predecease her. Question: Will she also be able to continue to collect her own Social Security benefit in addition to the SBP? Thanks in advance for any info.
Originally Posted by kaneohe
not military and never heard of SBP till now but here's something from Google
Note: A surviving spouse's SBP annuity is no longer reduced when they reach age 62 and become eligible for Social Security. The Social Security offset was phased out in 2008. Thus eliminating the need for the SSBP.
The SBP offset caused by Social Security eligibility has indeed been phased out:
The Social Security Offset
However there's another type of SBP offset caused by receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from the VA:
Military widows forced to remarry to get benefits - MarketWatch
Due to the unintended consequence of the wording of the legislation, a surviving spouse (if eligible to receive DIC) could only receive SBP of they remarry. (Yes, I know this makes no sense. That's why they've been trying to change the law.)
The initiative has languished in Congress for a number of sessions, but the latest Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation also picked up the issue for action.
Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
So the answer to your question, JinAZ, is that she'd be able to collect Social Security on the greater amount of her survivor's benefit (from your earnings record) or her own earnings record. However her SBP might be offset by her receipt of DIC.
I think the only realistic solution to this conundrum is for you to make sure that you do not die of a service-connected illness/disability. Then your spouse won't be eligible for DIC, and she'll be able to collect your full SBP.
It's a complicated situation and your personal health could affect the answer. Did that shotgun cover your question?