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Frequently Asked Questions
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 ends on January 1, 2024.
The SBP Open Season allows for retirees receiving retired pay, eligible members, or former members awaiting retired pay who are currently NOT enrolled in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) 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 family circumstances).
The SBP Open Season also allows eligible members and former members who are currently enrolled in either SBP or RCSBP 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.
DFAS is working to prepare the forms, policies, and processes required to facilitate this SBP Open Season. We will not be able to answer specific questions until we obtain official DoD guidance on the new law, policy, and processes. It will take some time for all of the details to be determined. We appreciate your patience as we work through the preparation.
We will post information and instructions on this webpage as they become available.
In the meantime, once the law is publicly available, you may review it by visiting 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).
Retirees can help by ensuring their information is up to date in myPay. If you are not yet using myPay or need to reactivate your account, start with our “New to myPay?” guide at https://dvidshub.net/r/vbx6su.
Please continue to check this webpage for updates.
As part of the SBP Open Season, retirees, reserve/guard, and Gray Area Retirees are allowed to stop (discontinue) their SBP coverage. The member (1) must get 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 – follow the instructions below to submit the new discontinuation form directly to DFAS.
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.
Before submitting your request for discontinuance, please review the SBP advantages and disadvantages information on the first page of the Discontinuation 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.
DFAS developed a special form to discontinue coverage during the SBP Open Season.
Download the “SBP Open Season 2023 Discontinuance Form – Provisional” – Right Click here and choose "Save link as..." to save it to your computer.
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.
Please remember to sign and date the form, have all beneficiaries concur, and have the notary or SBP counselor witness sign. Once all the information is filled in and all signatures received, the form can be submitted directly through askDFAS or via fax or email.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200
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 on the process to submit their form. Contact information is on the DFAS Gray Area Retiree webpage at https://www.dfas.mil/grayarea.
**NOTE: For those eligible members looking for information on enrollment in SBP during the Open Season, DFAS continues working to prepare the forms, policies and processes required to facilitate enrollment. Please continue checking this special focus webpage for updated news and information.
Page Updated January 25, 2023