To the Editor,

I urge you to support H.R. 454, the “Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act,” sponsored by Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina. This legislation would change the law for the survivors of a military retiree who are to receive payments through the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).

Under current law, the survivors of military retirees must return the retirement pay for the prorated portion of the final month after the date of the retiree’s death. Additionally, if that survivor is to receive SBP payments, current law makes SBP payments effective the first day of the month in which the retiree dies. The Air Force Sergeant’s Association represents all current and former Air Force members and, as a member, I see this legislation as a priority for this Congress to take action on.

H.R. 454 would make two changes: (1) the survivor would be “forgiven” the retirement pay amount for the remainder of the month in which the retiree dies, and (2) the survivor’s SBP annuity payments would be effective the first day of the month following the retiree’s death.

I urge you to support H.R. 454. It is a common-sense, humane change in the law that would provide comfort by making this life transition smoother for those who supported a military member’s career. I respectfully request a response to this letter so that I may know where you stand on this matter.

Jonathan Dowell,