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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 available on our Forms webpage

Use the DD 2656-6 Form Wizard to fill in your form

The DD 2656-6 Form Wizard will help you fill out the DD 2656-6 – Survivor Benefit Plan Election Change Certificate form. The form wizard will ask you a series of questions and fill in your answers in the appropriate areas of the form. When you have finished answering the questions, you can click a button to generate a ready-to-print PDF with your answers.

Please remember you will need to sign, date and have a Notary or SBP Counselor witness this form, then submit it to DFAS, along with the appropriate supporting documentation.

How to use the Form Wizard

You can download the entire DD 2656-6 Form Wizard (right click and choose "Save link as...") to your Windows or MAC computer. You will need compatible PDF software, such as the free Adobe Acrobat DC software, available at We do not recommend saving the Form Wizard to a shared computer, because it contains personally-identifiable information. When using Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari to access an Adobe form wizard, the user may initially receive a pop-up attached message. The user must download the pdf (by clicking the download icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page), then double-click on downloaded file. It is suggested to use the form wizard on a personal device. Using the form wizard on a DFAS computer may not have the same functionality as s personal device.

Send the completed DD Form 2656-6 along with your supporting documentation to:

A. Upload a PDF of your completed/signed form and supporting documents via the askDFAS online upload tool on

B. OR, Mail to: 
DFAS - U.S. Military Annuitant Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-1300

C. OR, Fax to:  800-982-8459

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.

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 12 2024