If a pending bill to end the so-called “widows’ tax” should become law, net payments for the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) would increase by $5.7 billion and annual accrual payments by the Department of Defense would rise by $2.8 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Furthermore, CBO concluded, determining an accurate number of surviving spouses whose SBP payments would be reduced under the present law would be difficult.
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced H.R. 553 in January. It is now awaiting action by the House Armed Services Committee, with a comparable measure pending before the Senate.
If passed, the bill would:
* Allow surviving spouses of deceased service members to receive the full amount of both their Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and SBP benefits.
* The Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance now available for surviving spouses who receive SPB payments would be eliminated.
* Refunds paid to surviving spouses whose SBP payments were reduced also would be eliminated.
* Optional SBP annuities paid to dependent children of service members who died on active duty would be eliminated. SBP annuities to surviving spouses of those service members would be restored.