Pre-Retirement SBP Responsibilities

This fact sheet provides information to help you understand the provisions of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), but is not a contract document. The basic statutory provisions of the SBP law are in Chapter 73, Title 10, United States Code. 

Pre-Retirement SBP Responsibilities

Each retiring member is responsible for:

-- Attending a one-on-one pre-retirement briefing with the SBP counselor (required by law)
-- Becoming familiar with the options and effects of the SBP
-- Learning about the basic differences between SBP and commercial or civilian programs described as alternatives
-- Including the spouse in all aspects of the decision process -- it's his or her financial future that's at stake!
-- Completing a DD Form 2656, Data for Payment of Retired Personnel, at the military personnel flight which contains critical pay data:
     -- Arrears of Pay beneficiary information
     -- Retirement correspondence address
     -- Check mailing address (EFT Address)
     -- SBP election
     -- Spouse concurrence (if required)
-- Notify ing the Defense Finance and Accounting Service promptly of changes that occur after retirement:
     -- Change in bank or correspondence address
     -- Change in marital status or family members that may affect SBP or pay

The law requires DFAS to establish maximum SBP coverage if a valid DD Form 2656 is not received before the member's retirement date.

A member who does not comply with the above responsibilities may experience a delay in receipt of retired pay and/or unwanted premiums being deducted from retired pay.

Remember, retired pay stops when a member dies.  Paying into the SBP is the only way to ensure regular monthly payments based on the member's military service continue to eligible survivors following the member's death.