Retirees Must Report Marriages to DFAS
Retirees who marry or re-marry must notify the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to properly establish Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage within one year of the marriage. Getting a military ID card and entering the new spouse in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) does not update pay records at DFAS or trigger SBP coverage.
Retirees who originally elected SBP coverage for a previous spouse must send DFAS a copy of the marriage certificate together with a completed DD Form 2656-6 (SBP Election/Change) that is available online at: www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2656-6.pdf
Retirees marrying for the first time may elect SBP coverage for their spouse with the same form, which must be received by DFAS within one year of the marriage. (A retiree who married during retirement and declined SBP spouse coverage, can not later enroll the spouse in the plan unless during a congressionally-approved open-enrollment period. Enrollments during open season normally result in penalties and extra charges for the retiree.) The above-mentioned form can also be obtained from DFAS by calling 1-800-321-1080.
Completed documents should be sent to:
US Military Retirement Pay