25 February 2003
U. S. House of Representatives
127 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D. C. 20515
Dear Representative Miller:
On behalf of the 135,000 members of the Fleet Reserve Association, I thank you for sponsoring HR 548, a bill that would eliminate the drastic reduction in Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities that now adversely impacts survivors who are age 62 and older. The Association is extremely grateful for your commitment in the 108th Congress to provide an equitable annuity to survivors of members of the uniformed services.
Currently the program provides 55% of SBP-covered retired pay for younger spouses - however the amount drops to 35% of retired pay for survivors age 62 and older. Unfortunately, many retirees and their spouses were not advised of the reduction at age 62 when they signed up for the program in the early 1970's. You may have received letters from constituents expressing their frustration when they learn that their annuity is less than anticipated.
The Association very much appreciates your leadership in campaigning to restore equity and credibility to this very important survivor program. The Association looks forward to working closely with you in seeking maximum cosponsorship for, and timely enactment of, HR 548.
JOSEPH L. BARNES
National Executive Secretary