The Heart Act calls for allowing active-duty reservists to make penalty-free withdrawals from their IRA plans, allowing military survivors placing death benefits into tax-deferred retirement or savings plans, and more.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Survival Benefit For Military Heroes' Families

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It started with the military HEART Act of 2008, which is still pending Congressional approval: the goal was to help military heroes and their families receive maximum financial benefit throughout a lifetime of military service, and, after death, for their families. The Heart Act calls for allowing active-duty reservists to make penalty-free withdrawals from their IRA plans, allowing military survivors placing death benefits into tax-deferred retirement or savings plans, and more.

The introduction of bill H.R. 178, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act is an extension of that goal. The idea is to fully live up to the promises made to military heroes: to honor Survival Benefit Plan (SBP) policies purchased to protect military families following the death of a loved one serving in the military.

FINANCIAL PROTECTION FOR MILITARY WIDOWS AND FAMILIES

You receive military pay for the life of your military career, for serving your county honorably. After a military service member dies, there are programs in place to continue allowing military widows and families to receive a substitute for your lost military pay. One of these is the Survival Benefit Plan (SBP).

Yet, the amount your military family receives from the Survival Benefit Plan (SBP) is reduced by the amount of benefits received from Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

In Feb. 2010, continuing his legacy of the past decade, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson introduced legislation to end the practice of reducing the Survival Benefit Plan (SBP) to offset benefits from Dependency and Indemnity Compensation of the Veterans Affairs Department. This would mean that military widows whose military spouses purchased the Survival Benefit Plan policy would no longer have their annuities cut because they also qualify for the VA's Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefit.

SUPPORT MILITARY SURVIVING SPOUSES EQUITY ACT

Military service members are encouraged to show support for military heroes by supporting full SBP protection, a bill known as H.R. 178, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, as introduced by chairman of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).

Email your congressman and senator annually to express support for the Military Surviving Spouses Equity. After a decade of noble attempts, we hope that SBP benefits for military widows and families of military heroes will finally be fully protected.



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