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Military survivor benefits

Active duty, veterans, and retirees may be eligible to enroll in programs to provide for their survivors.

If you are a current service member or veteran, you may qualify for a servicemembers or veterans life insurance policy. As a retired service member, you can also protect your pension for your loved ones.

Life insurance for active duty service members

Qualifying active duty service members automatically have a policy with Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Learn about SGLI policies, including:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Updating your beneficiaries
  • Changing or canceling your policy coverage

Life insurance for veterans

If you had SGLI when you were on active duty, you may be eligible for the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI). VGLI insures both active duty and reserve service veterans. Learn about VGLI coverage, including:

  • Eligibility for coverage
  • Applying for a policy
  • Updating your policy or beneficiaries
  • Monthly premium rates

Survivor benefits for retirees

As a military retiree, your pension payments end when you die. Retired active duty and reservists may enroll in an annuity program when they retire. These programs will give your survivors a portion of your pension for the rest of their lives.

Active duty retirees

Active duty retirees can enroll in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to provide for their survivors. Learn about the SBP, including:

  • Program costs
  • Benefits for your survivors
  • Updates to your plan

Retiring reservists

Retiring reservists can enroll in the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP). Learn about the RCSBP, including:

  • Eligibility
  • Enrollment
  • Changes to your plan

Survivor benefits for wartime veterans

A surviving spouse or child of a veteran who served during a qualifying wartime period may be eligible for the VA Survivors Pension. Learn more, including:

  • What wartime periods the pension covers
  • If you are eligible
  • How to apply

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023


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