In this work, an inter-layer residual prediction method that has low complexity and minimal syntax changes is proposed to improve the rate-distortion RD performance of scalable video coding. The proposed method employs a new inter-layer reference picture that is compensated for by a residual signal from the corresponding base layer. The compensated reference picture is added into the reference picture lists. Thus, the residual prediction is adaptively conducted by motion estimation and compensation with the added inter-layer reference picture. When the residual-compensated reference picture is generated, sub-pel interpolation is not used to reduce the computational complexity. Despite adding the residual predicted reference picture, block-level syntax changes and decoding processes are not necessary. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, the proposed technique was applied to the scalable high-efficiency video coding (SHVC) coder. Experimental results show that the coding performance for the luma component is improved by about 1.0 %, compared to the SHVC reference software. The encoding time for the proposed algorithm is not increased and the decoding time is increased by about 5 % against SHVC without any residual predictions while the conventional GRP achieves 1.83 % coding gain with 48.4 and 20.3 % of encoding and decoding complexity increment in 2× and 1.5× scalable coding cases, respectively.