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NDAA 2023 Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Open Season


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.

SBP Open Season Enrollment Information – Click here to jump to the Enrollment Section

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 family circumstances).

SBP Open Season Discontinuance Information – Click here to jump to the Discontinuance Section

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.

We will post additional information and instructions on this webpage as they become available. Please check back for news during the 2023 calendar year. 


SBP Open Season: Enrolling in SBP Coverage 

Enrollment during the SBP Open Season is a four-step process:

STEP 1.. Submit a completed and signed Letter of Intent to Enroll (LOI), including all required information and the type of enrollment so we can send you an estimate of your monthly premiums and most importantly, an estimate of your one-time buy-in premium. You can use our askDFAS online upload tool to submit your form or send it via postal mail or fax.
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Download the “Letter of Intent to Enroll during the SBP Open Season” – Right Click here and choose "Save link as..." to save it to your computer.
STEP 2. We will mail you an individual estimate, based on the information in your Letter of Intent (LOI). It will provide an estimate of your monthly premium cost going forward, as well as an estimate of the one-time “buy-in premium.” 
Keep in mind, your final enrollment costs, both the monthly premium and buy-in premium, may change if there is a time gap between when you submit your LOI and the time you submit your final enrollment form. Costs may also change if there are changes to the information submitted. In addition, if you choose to pay your buy-in premium over time, installment interest will be added to your buy-in premium. 

STEP 3. After considering the costs, if you want to officially enroll, submit your completed and signed SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form, including your choice for how you will pay for the one-time buy-in premium. You can use our askDFAS online upload tool to submit your form or send it via postal mail or fax. 

Download the “SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form” – Right Click here and choose "Save link as..." to save it to your computer.

STEP 4.
We will mail you a confirmation of your enrollment, including the final costs, and 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 received within those 30 days.
Buy-In Premium Payment Options

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

Payment Option B = Choose to submit 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. If you want to submit a specific amount as a partial payment of the SBP buy-in premium due, please write a note on SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form and include the specific amount you want to pay.

Payment Option C = Choose to 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 choose to make direct payments to DFAS in 12 equal monthly installments plus installment interest.
You are strongly encouraged to review your retired pay or CRSC pay and keep in mind any expected changes to your pay in the upcoming months and how those changes might affect the payment option you choose. Also, keep in mind that your net pay will be reduced by your SBP monthly premium cost going forward.

If you choose 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.

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 choose 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, please write a note on the SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form and include the specific amount you want to pay.

  • If you choose 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.

  • If you choose 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 DO 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.

  • If you choose 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 is a time gap between when you submit your LOI and the time you submit your final enrollment form. Costs may also change if there are changes to the information submitted. In addition, if you choose to pay your buy-in premium over time, installment interest will be added to your buy-in premium.

  • If you choose 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.

  • 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 member's taxable retired pay. The previous sentence applies even when paid through deductions from retired pay.

 
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


Letter of Intent to Enroll During the SBP Open Season

Download the “Letter of Intent to Enroll during the SBP Open Season” – 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. Once complete, signed, and dated, the form can be submitted directly through our askDFAS online upload tool or via fax or email.

Upload your Letter of Intent using our askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil - CLICK HERE 

Fax to 800-469-6559

Mail to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200
 
SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form
Download the “SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form” – 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. Once complete, signed, and dated, the form can be submitted directly through our askDFAS online upload tool or via fax or email.

Upload your SBP Open Season 2023 Enrollment Form using our askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil - CLICK HERE 

Fax to 800-469-6559

Mail to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200
 

**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 – SBP Open Season Discontinuance Form Now Available for Retirees Receiving Pay


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 discontinuance 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 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.

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. The member must sign and date the form prior to any beneficiary signature. 

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

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 on the process to submit their form. 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 May 22, 2023