Customer Service

800-321-1080
M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

Quick Tools
askDFAS

Forms  
Frequently Asked Questions

NDAA 2023 Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Open Season Ended January 1, 2024

 

Congress provided for a Survivor Benefit Plan Open Season in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The SBP Open Season began on December 23, 2022 and ended at midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 1, 2024.

*****************

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DEADLINES

January 1, 2024 – Open Season Deadline

SBP Open Season Enrollment and Discontinuance documents will no longer be accepted UNLESS you received a request from us to provide information. If we do send you a request for information, it is important that you respond promptly. 
We strongly recommend you upload your response via our askDFAS online upload tool to ensure it is received timely. 

You can also mail or fax your response. 

SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form - For response to a request for information only - Enrollment ended January 1, 2024

SBP Open Season 2023 Discontinuance Form - For response to a request for information only - Discontinuance ended January 1, 2024

Upload Your Response to a Request for Information via Our Online Upload Tools

To upload your response to a request for additional information using our askDFAS online upload tools, follow these steps: 
1-Click on the appropriate askDFAS online upload tool link below 
2-Fill out all applicable information
3-Attach your completed and signed documents or information
4-Select “Upload File(s)”
5-Select “Submit”

Enrollment Response Online Upload Tool

Upload your SBP Open Season 2023 response to a request for additional information regarding Enrollment using our askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil - CLICK HERE  
Please note: All documents submitted via an askDFAS online upload tool must be in PDF format; include name and SSN on each attachment.

Discontinuance Response Online Upload Tool

Upload your SBP Open Season 2023 response to a request for additional information regarding Discontinuance using our askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil - CLICK HERE 
Please note: All documents submitted via an askDFAS online upload tool must be in PDF format; include name and SSN on each attachment.

Fax or Mail your Enrollment or Discontinuance Response:
Fax to 800-469-6559
OR
Mail to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200


SBP Open Season: Enrolling in SBP Coverage 

The SBP Open Season allowed for retirees receiving retired pay, eligible members, or former members awaiting retired pay who were NOT participating in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) as of December 22, 2022 to enroll. For a member who enrolled 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 family circumstances).

Open Season Enrollment Forms must have been RECEIVED by DFAS before midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 1, 2024. If we receive your form in the mail after the January 1, 2024 deadline, you will need to provide proof it was postmarked or otherwise provided to the mail service prior to midnight on January 1, 2024.

For a member already receiving retired pay: Upon enrollment you will be legally responsible and obligated to pay a “buy-in premium.” The buy-in premium is comprised of (a) amounts you would have been required to pay you had enrolled in SBP at an earlier opportunity plus (b) additional open season costs. Check out our Example Buy-In Premiums here

If you decided to enroll and submitted an enrollment form, after we process your enrollment we will mail you an enrollment confirmation letter that includes the amount of your Buy-In Premium and your monthly premiums. The enrollment confirmation letter will also include payment instructions.

Buy-In Premium Payment Options

Payment Option A = A lump sum payment for the total amount of the one-time buy-in SBP premium due.

Payment Option B = A partial payment of the SBP buy-in premium due and have the remainder of the SBP buy-in premium plus installment interest deducted from your retired pay or CRSC pay in 12 equal monthly installments. If you receive both retired pay and CRSC pay, we will deduct the installments from whichever has the highest net pay. 

Payment Option C = Have the SBP buy-in premium plus installment interest deducted from either your retired pay or your CRSC pay in 12 equal monthly installments (if you receive both retired pay and CRSC pay, we will deduct the installments from whichever has the highest net pay); OR make direct payments to DFAS in 12 equal monthly installments plus installment interest.

Keep in mind that your net pay will be reduced by your SBP monthly premium cost going forward.

If you chose to make a lump sum payment, a partial payment or direct installment payments, we must receive payment within 30 days of the date of the enrollment confirmation letter. Your enrollment confirmation letter will include payment instructions. 

Important - About Enrollment and Premiums

Key points to keep in mind:
  • Normal processing time is 30 days from the date we receive a valid request.

  • Your enrollment will be effective the first day of the first calendar month following our receipt of your valid enrollment form.

  • Beginning with the effective date of your enrollment and going forward, SBP monthly premiums will be deducted from your retired pay or CRSC pay until you reach “paid-up” status. These are your “prospective monthly premiums.” This means the amount of your net pay will be lower than it is prior to your enrollment in SBP coverage.

  • If you chose to pay your buy-in premium over time, installment interest will be added to your buy-in premium. This information will be included in your enrollment confirmation letter.

  • If you want to submit a specific amount as a partial payment of the SBP buy-in premium due, you need to have written a note on the SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form and included in the note the specific amount you want to pay. Your enrollment confirmation letter will include payment instructions. 

  • If you chose to pay in 12 equal monthly installments, you must either have the installments deducted from your pay over the entire 12 months OR pay DFAS directly for the entire 12 months. We are not able to change your method of payment during the 12 months. Your enrollment confirmation letter will include payment instructions. 

  • If you chose to pay in 12 equal monthly installments, and you have enough net retired pay OR net CRSC pay to cover the deduction of the monthly installment, the default payment method for the buy-in premium is to deduct the installments from your pay. If you DID NOT want the installments deducted from your pay, please notify us promptly. In addition, in this case we must receive your first payment within 30 days of the date of the enrollment confirmation letter. Your enrollment confirmation letter will include payment instructions. 

  • If you chose to have the buy-in premium deducted from your pay in 12 equal monthly installments and we determine your net pay will not be high enough to cover the installments, you will be required to make a partial payment plus have the balance of the buy-in premium deducted in 12 equal monthly installments from your pay. We will include this information in your enrollment confirmation letter. We must receive your partial payment within 30 days of the date of the enrollment confirmation letter.

  • Your final enrollment costs, both the monthly premium and buy-in premium, may change if there was a time gap between when you submitted your LOI and the time you submitted your final enrollment form. Costs may also change if there were changes to the information submitted. In addition, if you chose to pay your buy-in premium over time, installment interest will be added to your buy-in premium.

  • If you chose to make a lump sum payment, a partial payment or direct installment payments, we must receive payment within 30 days of the date of the enrollment confirmation letter.. Your enrollment confirmation letter will include payment instructions. 

  • If you were enrolled in SBP coverage at some point prior to this SBP Open Season and you paid monthly SBP premiums, those premiums can be credited toward your buy-in premium amount.

  • The 2023 NDAA SBP Open Season specifically states enrollment in the Plan must be voluntary on the part of the eligible member. It further specifies that no court order may require an eligible member to make an Open Season election pursuant to section 643, P.L. 117-263.

  • An eligible member who, on December 22, 2022, was receiving retired pay and was not participating in SBP is not required to have concurrence of his/her spouse (or other beneficiary) to make an open season election.

  • Since the one-time buy-in premium is not considered a reduction in retired pay due to an election under chapter 73 of title 10, United States Code, these amounts do not serve to reduce the members taxable retired pay. The previous sentence applies even when paid through deductions from retired pay.
     
  • ​The term “participating” includes those retired members who previously elected to participate in SBP and have not terminated participation in any way allowed under title 10, chapter 73, subchapter II of the United States Code (10 U.S.C. Ch 73), even if they no longer have an eligible beneficiary. As participants, (even in a suspended status) such members are not eligible to make an election to enroll during the open season period authorized by Section 643 of Public Law 117-263.

Enrolling Frequently Asked Questions

We also have a list of Frequently Asked Questions here about enrolling in SBP during the SBP 2023 Open Season – Right Click here and choose "Save link as..." to save it to your computer  

**NOTE: The above process is for ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, SPACE FORCE, and MARINE CORPS RETIREES RECEIVING PAY
Currently serving Reserve/Guard should contact their Branch of Service for information on the SBP Open Season and the process to submit the form.
Gray Area Retirees (not yet receiving retired pay) of the Navy, Marines and Air Force should contact their Branch of Service for information on the SBP Open Season and the process to submit their form.

Army Gray Area Retiree Soldiers (not yet receiving pay), please visit the Army’s webpage on the Survivor Benefit Plan at https://soldierforlife.army.mil/Retirement/survivor-benefit-plan or contact your local Retirement Services Officer.

Army Retired Soldiers, for assistance with your decision and form, please visit the Army’s webpage on the Survivor Benefit Plan at https://soldierforlife.army.mil/Retirement/survivor-benefit-plan or contact your local Retirement Services Officer.


SBP Open Season: Discontinuing SBP Coverage 


January 1, 2024 – Open Season Deadline
Open Season Discontinuance Forms must have been RECEIVED by DFAS before midnight  Eastern Standard Time on January 1, 2024. If we receive your form in the mail after the January 1, 2024 deadline, you will need to provide proof it was postmarked or otherwise provided to the mail service prior to midnight on January 1, 2024.

The SBP Open Season allowed 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 member (1) must have gotten concurrence from their spouse plus any beneficiary covered by SBP that is 18 or over and (2) no premiums are refunded.

The following information applies to former active duty and reserve retirees receiving pay ONLY.

Currently serving Reserve/Guard should contact their Branch of Service for information on the SBP Open Season.
Gray Area Retirees (not yet receiving retired pay) of the Navy, Marines and Air Force should contact their Branch of Service for information on the SBP Open Season.

Army Gray Area Retiree Soldiers (not yet receiving pay), please visit the Army’s webpage on the Survivor Benefit Plan at https://soldierforlife.army.mil/Retirement/survivor-benefit-plan or contact your local Retirement Services Officer.
Army Retired Soldiers, for assistance with your decision and form, please visit the Army’s webpage on the Survivor Benefit Plan at https://soldierforlife.army.mil/Retirement/survivor-benefit-plan or contact your local Retirement Services Officer.

PLEASE NOTE: To be valid, SBP Open Season Discontinuance form must have been 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 have either been notarized or witnessed by an SBP counselor. The member must have signed and dated the form prior to any beneficiary signature. 

Open Season Discontinuance Forms must have been RECEIVED by DFAS before midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 1, 2024. If we receive your form in the mail after the January 1, 2024 deadline, you will need to provide proof it was postmarked or otherwise provided to the mail service prior to midnight on January 1, 2024.

Discontinuance Frequently Asked Questions

We also have a list of commonly asked questions about discontinuing participation in SBP. Find those FAQs here.

**REMINDER: Currently serving reserve/guard, and Gray Area Retirees (not yet receiving retired pay) should contact their Branch of Service for information. Contact information is on the DFAS Gray Area Retiree webpage at https://www.dfas.mil/grayarea.


Additional Information

NDAA 2023 SBP Open Season Law

The law providing for an SBP Open Season is publicly available on web sites such as GovInfo at https://www.govinfo.gov (which provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government).



Related Links:


Note: The information on this website is provided to explain typical situations regarding retiree and annuitant benefits. For details and exceptions, please see applicable laws, financial management regulations, and instructions.

 

Page Updated Jan 26 2024