Report a Retiree's Death

Defense Finance
and Accounting Service
Providing payment services of the U.S. Department of Defense

Report a Retiree's Death

We’re sorry for your loss.  Though this is a difficult time, it’s crucial to report the death of a military retiree promptly.  Please follow the steps below to report the death as soon as possible.

What You Need

  • Retiree’s name, social security number and date of death
  • Manner of death: natural, suicide, accident, homicide
  • Retiree's marital status upon death
  • Names, address of retiree's designated beneficiaries or next of kin living and deceased

How to Report a Retiree's Death

1 .  Upon notification of death, DFAS will stop monthly payments to prevent overpayment.  Call DFAS at 800-321-1080. Please have the decedent's Social Security Number and the date of death when you call or you can report the retiree's death online by clicking here.

2. Within 7-10 business days after reporting the death to DFAS, you should receive a letter containing the following documents:

  • SF1174 Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service
  • Annuity account forms and instructions (if the decedent was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan or the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan)

3.  Complete the forms you received with your letter and return them with a copy of the retiree’s Death Certificate that includes cause of death to:

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

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1300

If you need assistance completing your claim forms, please call 800-321-1080.

When to Report a Retiree's Death

When to Report a Retiree's Death

Please report the retired service member’s death as soon as possible. This will help avoid delay and possible financial hardship to surviving beneficiaries, family members or executors, who will be required to return any unearned military retirement payments. Eligibility for military retired pay ends with the death of the retiree. Therefore, if a retired pay payment was issued for the month in which the retiree died the bank will be notified to return the payment upon notification of death. The beneficiary of the AOP may be due a prorated amount for the month of death.  Never return money yourself unless specifically asked to.

Additional Tips to Assist you in making your claim

  • When requesting the deceased retiree’s 1099R, please submit a copy of the certificate of death (COD). The 1099R cannot be issued until the date of death (DOD) is confirmed.
  • If you are not the spouse or designated beneficiary, please ensure Part C of the SF1174 is completed. The lack of information provided in Part C may delay the claim.
  • U.S. and Foreign citizens with an OCONUS mailing address will have to submit IRS form W-8BEN to verify citizenship status. If the arrears of pay are due they cannot be issued until this is complete and on file.
  • If making a claim as Trustee of a Trust, that has not been designated, please ensure a full copy of the trust and Will are submitted with your claim.
  • Ensure ALL applicable sections of the SF1174 are completed, especially the two required witness signatures. Having an incomplete SF1174 can create an additional delay in receiving your payment. Also, please keep in mind, that the purpose of the witness signatures are to declare that the witnesses are acquainted with the claimant and that they witnessed the claimant complete and sign the form. If the witness signatures are signed and dated prior to the claimant’s signature, then the claim will be invalid.
  • If a minor is due AOP, the parent/guardian will need to sign the SF1174 in support of the minor. DD Form 2790 will also need to be completed and submitted by the parent/guardian of the child.

The checklist is provided in an effort to assist you with completing a timely claim (SF 1174 Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Forces) for the arrears of pay. The checklist outlines the most common errors made by a claimant (you), that may cause delays in processing your claim. Please use as a reference in completing your claim. Click here to open the checklist.

Related Links

Other Agencies You Should Contact
Apply for Survivor Benefit Plan Annuity
Apply for Arrears of Pay

Page updated March 1, 2018