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Frequently Asked Questions

Survivor Benefit Plan Enrollment

As you prepare for retirement, it is very important to seek counseling from your Branch of Service on your options.

First, you should review DD Form 2656:  Data for Payment of Retired Personnel.

The DD 2656 offers brief instructions regarding election options and requirements, but you also need to consider other implications. Please make the time to carefully review information about SBP Elections and Eligible Beneficiaries.

When you have made your decisions and are signing Form DD2656, please keep in mind:

  • The form must be signed prior to your retirement date
  • Your witness must sign the document on the same date as you
  • If a spouse’s signature is required, it must be on or after the date of your signature, but also before your retirement date
  • The notary witnessing the spouse’s signature must sign the document on the same date as the spouse

Learn more about SBP

  • Advantages & disadvantages - Things to consider before enrolling 
  • Eligible beneficiaries - Find out who can be covered
  • Cost - What SBP costs at the different coverage levels
  • Paying for SBP - How you can pay
  • Update beneficiary - How to update beneficiaries or update contact information
  • 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