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The SBP Open Season allows for retirees receiving retired pay, eligible members, or former members awaiting retired pay who were NOT enrolled in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) as of December 22, 2022 to enroll. For a member who enrolls during the SBP Open Season, the law generally requires that the member will be responsible to pay retroactive SBP premium costs that would have been paid if the member had enrolled at retirement (or enrolled at another earlier date, depending on the member’s circumstances).
The SBP Open Season also allows eligible members and former members who were enrolled in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) as of December 22, 2022 to permanently discontinue their SBP coverage. The law generally requires the covered beneficiaries to concur in writing with the election to discontinue. Previously paid premiums will not be refunded.
The SBP Open Season runs from December 23, 2022 to January 1, 2024.
There are special forms to enroll or discontinue in accordance with the NDAA 2023 SBP Open Season law and processes.
The forms, information, and FAQs are available on our special focus webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/sbpopenseason23
Please note that the information in this article is for retirees receiving pay. Gray Area Retirees and Reserve/Guard component members should contact their Branch of Service for information on how to enroll or discontinue RCSBP coverage during the SBP Open Season.
We have two additional SBP Open Season articles in this issue of the newsletter: one article outlines the four-step process to enroll in SBP coverage and one article outlines the process to discontinue coverage.
Brief Overview of the Enrollment Process
Enrollment in SBP during the Open Season is a four-step process.
STEP ONE: Submit the Letter of Intent (LOI) to Enroll, so we can send you an estimate of your monthly premiums and most importantly, an estimate of your one-time buy-in premium.
STEP TWO: We will mail you an estimate, based on the information in your Letter of Intent (LOI).
STEP THREE: After consideration of the costs, if you want to officially enroll, submit the Enrollment Form, including your choice for how to pay the buy-in premium.
STEP FOUR: We will mail you a confirmation of your enrollment, with your final costs, and start deductions or provide instructions on how to submit payment. Your enrollment will be effective the first day of the first calendar month following our receipt of your valid enrollment form.
You are allowed 30 days from the date you sign the enrollment form to cancel your enrollment. Cancellation must be in writing and must be received within those 30 days.
For more details on the enrollment process, please see the “What Retirees Need to Know About Enrolling” article in this issue of the newsletter.
Brief Overview of the Discontinuance Process
During the SBP Open Season, retirees are allowed to stop (discontinue) their SBP coverage. To discontinue SBP coverage, complete and submit an “SBP Open Season 2023 Discontinuance Form.” The form is available to download from our special focus webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/sbpopenseason23
The discontinuance will be effective the first day of the first calendar month following our receipt of your valid discontinuance form.
Please note: To be valid, the form must be properly signed and dated by all parties, including the current spouse, and any currently-covered former spouse, child aged 18-22 or natural interest person (NIP). In addition, the covered party’s signature must either be notarized or witnessed by an SBP counselor.
No refunds of SBP premiums for the period of coverage are allowed. In addition, retirees remain responsible for any debt accrued due to unpaid premiums during the time in which the retiree had SBP or RCSBP coverage.
Before submitting your request for discontinuance, please review the SBP advantages and disadvantages information on the first page of the Discontinuance form. SBP Open Seasons rarely occur. Consider the impact your decision will have on your loved ones moving forward. Because your beneficiaries must also concur with the decision to discontinue, you may want to review this information with them.
For more details on the discontinuance process, please see the “What Retirees Need to Know About Discontinuing” article in this issue of the newsletter.
Page Updated June 28 2023