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Frequently Asked Questions

Updating Your SBP Beneficiary Designations

It is important to notify us as soon as possible when a beneficiary change occurs. Events like divorce or remarriage change the beneficiary status of your account. If you have not notified us of changes like this, you may have an invalid beneficiary designation. In the event of your death, we would be required to spend time identifying and then locating your rightful beneficiary. This would make it difficult or even impossible to process the benefit claim quickly, and might create a financial hardship for your loved ones.

Failing to Update Your SBP Beneficiary Could Have Financial Consequences

Making sure that we are aware of any changes in your beneficiaries will benefit you as well.  If you do not inform us of a divorce, you could forfeit a refund of overpaid premiums. DFAS is barred by law from refunding payments retroactively beyond a six-year period.  If a retiree divorces a spouse and does not notify us until 10 years after the fact, we will only be able to refund six years of those payments.

How to Update Your SBP Beneficiary Designations

To change or update your SBP beneficiary designation, please complete a Survivor Benefit Plan Election Change Certificate (DD 2656-6).

Legal documents such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees and birth certificates are essential to processing changes of beneficiary or claims under SBP.  Forms and legal documents can be faxed or mailed to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retirement Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-1200

Fax:  800-469-6559

Please only send copies of documents. Do not send the originals.

Learn more about SBP

  • Advantages & disadvantages - Things to consider before enrolling
  • Enroll - How to set up your SBP account
  • Eligible beneficiaries - Find out who can be covered
  • Cost - What SBP costs at the different coverage levels
  • Paying for SBP - How you can pay 
  • Change or stop coverage - When you can change coverage or beneficiary 
  • Educate your beneficiaries - What your beneficiary needs to know
  • What happens when you die - Next steps for your beneficiary

Read about these topics at SBP overview

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.