Armed Forces News

The House Budget Committee has an opportunity this week to jump-start a fix for the Survivor Benefit Plan?s ?military widows? tax? (so-called because most survivors affected are widows). Last week the Senate unanimously approved a floor amendment to the fiscal 2005 budget resolution that would provide funds to end the 36 percent slash in SBP annuities for survivors age 62 and older. That puts the ball in the court of the House Budget Committee. As Armed Forces News went to press this week, the committee was expected to make its decision. Some 31 of 43 committee members had cosponsored either H.R. 548 or H.R. 3763 or both. H.R. 548 would phase out the widows? tax over five years and H.R. 3763 over ten. Without the phase-out, survivors at age 62 would continue to see their SBP annuities slashed from 55 percent of the base amount to 35 percent.