Simplifying Eligibility Verifications for Retirees and SBP Annuitants 


As part of our work at DFAS Retired & Annuitant Pay to transform into an even more customer-friendly environment, we are simplifying eligibility verifications for both retirees and SBP annuitants. Check out the good news below.

Retirees Who Receive a Paycheck in the Mail to a Foreign Address

Starting in May of 2023, we replaced the twice-yearly Report of Existence (ROE) with an ANNUAL Foreign Address Update for Mailed Check (FAUMC) letter.

Prior to May, retirees who received a hardcopy check to a foreign address needed to complete and return a Report of Existence (ROE) twice each year. One ROE was due the month of their birthday, and one ROE was due six months after their birthday.

Now, retirees who receive a hardcopy check to a foreign address will only need to complete and return the new annual FAUMC once a year (due the first of the month of their birthday). This new letter will be automatically mailed to all retirees who need to complete and return it the first of the month of their birthday. This part of the process is the same as it was under the old guidelines.

Retirees can send their FAUMC via mail, fax or use our convenient askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil. Once you complete and sign the FAUMC,  save it as a PDF file, then you can upload it online at askDFAS. Find out more here: https://www.dfas.mil/askdfas

Please note that we will still accept and process ROEs in place of the new FAUMC for the period of the transition from the old process to the new, simpler process. If you owed an ROE prior to May of 2023, you should complete and return it. You can also download the new FAUMC from our website Forms Library (https://www.dfas.mil/raforms) and return that instead.

Changes to Simplify Eligibility Verifications for Annuitants

Beginning in August 2023, DFAS reduced the requirements for SBP annuitants to one annual eligibility determination. Previously, some SBP annuitants needed to complete multiple forms each year. Now, you will only need to complete and submit one annual verification each year.

Also, the two new annual eligibility verifications now have names that identify their purpose. And their due dates are easy to remember: they are due the first day of the month of your birthday.

The three annual eligibility verifications for annuitants now are:

Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU)

The Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU) is required annually to confirm marital status and continued eligibility for the Survivor Benefit Plan. The SBP-MSU replaces the COE. It is due the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday.

School Certifications

The DD Form 2788 Child Annuitant’s School Certification and the Child Annuitant’s Certification for Previous Attendance Letter are required annually to confirm full-time school attendance and marital status for continued eligibility for the Survivor Benefit Plan. School Certification is due the first day of the month the annuitant’s school year ends. Note: School Certification requirements did not change.

Foreign Address Update for Mailed Check (FAUMC)
The Foreign Address Update for Mailed Check (FAUMC) is required annually only if an annuitant is receiving a check in the mail outside the United States and does not need to submit a School Certification or a Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update. The FAUMC replaces the Report of Existence (ROE). It is due the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday.

Overview of Annual Eligibility Requirements

Child SBP Annuitants Ages 18-22 Who Must Submit a School Certification

Now, SBP annuitants who are currently required to submit a School Certification/Previous Attendance Letter won’t need to complete any of the other annual eligibility documents. No more COE, no more twice-a-year ROEs.

SBP Spouse/Former Spouse Annuitants Under 55, Child Annuitants 14-17, and Incapacitated Child Annuitants Ages 14 and Over Who Must Submit an Annual Certificate of Eligibility

We replaced the annual Certificate of Eligibility (COE) with the Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU).

Previously, annuitants age 14 to 55 needed to submit a COE annually to provide their current marital status.

Now, annuitants age 14 to 55 will submit an annual Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU) instead of the COE.

SBP annuitants who are currently required to submit a School Certification/Previous Attendance Letter won’t need to complete an annual Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU), formerly the COE.

We also have a new, convenient online upload tool on our website for returning the SBP-MSU. Once you complete and sign your SBP-MSU, you can save it as a PDF file, then upload it online at askDFAS. Find out more here: https://www.dfas.mil/askdfas

By early next year, we will also have emailed status notifications for the new SBP-MSU when submitted through askDFAS.

Please note that we will still accept and process annuitant COEs in place of the new SBP-MSU during the period of the transition from the old process to the new, simpler process. If you owed a COE prior to August of 2023, you should complete and return it. You can also download the new SBP-MSU from our website Forms Library here (https://www.dfas.mil/raforms) and return that instead.

SBP Annuitants Who Receive a Check in the Mail to a Foreign Address

We replaced the twice-yearly Report of Existence (ROE) for SBP annuitants with a once-a-year Foreign Address Update for Mailed Checks (FAUMC) letter.

Previously, annuitants who received a hardcopy check to a foreign address needed to complete and return an annuitant Report of Existence (ROE) twice each year. One ROE was due the month of their birthday, and one ROE was due six months after their birthday. For annuitants who needed to submit an annual Certificate of Eligibility (COE) the month of their birthday, that COE took the place of the ROE due the month of their birthday, but they still needed to submit a second ROE six months after their birthday.

Now, annuitants who receive a hardcopy check in the mail to a foreign address will only need to complete and return the new annual FAUMC once a year (due the first of the month of their birthday).

In addition, now, if an SBP annuitant receiving a hardcopy check in the mail to a foreign address is required to submit an annual Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update (SBP-MSU), the annual SBP-MSU submission will take the place of the FAUMC. This means, starting in August, an SBP annuitant who is required to submit an annual SBP-MSU will not have to submit an FAUMC, even if they are receiving a hardcopy check in the mail to a foreign address.

If the annuitant is a student SBP child annuitant age 18-22 who is required to submit an annual School Certification, they will not have to submit an annual SBP-MSU or an FAUMC.

We also have a convenient online upload tool on our website for returning the annuitant FAUMC. Once you complete and sign the FAUMC, save it as a PDF file, then you can upload it online at askDFAS. Find out more here: https://www.dfas.mil/askdfas

Please note we will still accept and process annuitant ROEs in place of the new annuitant FAUMC during the period of the transition from the old process to the new, simpler process. If you owed an ROE prior to August of 2023, you should complete and return it. You can also download the new annuitant FAUMC from our website Forms Library here (https://www.dfas.mil/raforms) and return that instead.

Summary of New, Simpler Annual Requirements for SBP Annuitants
  • If a child annuitant age 18-22 (not documented as incapacitated), the School Certification/Previous Attendance Letter is the only annual verification needed.
  • If a child annuitant age 14-17 (not documented as incapacitated), the Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update is the only annual verification needed.
  • If caring for an incapacitated child annuitant age 14 or over, the Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update is the only annual verification needed.
  • If a spouse/former spouse annuitant under the age of 55, the Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update is the only annual verification needed.
  • If receiving a check in the mail outside the United States and do not need to submit a School Certification or a Survivor Benefit Plan-Marital Status Update, the Foreign Address Update for Mailed Check is the only annual verification needed.
Find Out More About the Annuitant Eligibility Verification Changes

We have additional information about these changes on our “Manage Your SBP Annuity” webpage, including a downloadable Quick Reference Guide and a Fact Sheet with an overview of what is required, when it is mailed, and when it should be completed and returned and FAQs: https://www.dfas.mil/managesbp.
 
Page Updated Sept 27 2023