VA News: Attention Military Retirees!!! Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Open Season
Congress provided for a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Open Season in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The SBP Open Season ends on January 1, 2024.
The SBP Open Season allows for retirees receiving retired pay, eligible members, or former members awaiting retired pay who were NOT enrolled in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) as of December 22, 2022 to enroll.
The SBP Open Season also allows eligible members and former members who were enrolled in SBP or RCSBP (Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan) as of December 22, 2022 to permanently discontinue their SBP coverage.
The 2023 NDAA SBP Open Season does not allow for changes to existing SBP coverage.
Please see our special focus webpage for FAQs and forms:
Important Open Season Deadline – January 1, 2024
Open Season Enrollment and Discontinuance Forms must be RECEIVED before midnight Eastern on January 1, 2024. We strongly recommend you upload your form via our askDFAS online upload tool to ensure it is received prior to the deadline.
Request for Individual Estimate Deadline: November 1, 2023 for Members Retired with Pay Who are Considering Enrolling
Retirees who want an individual estimate prior to officially enrolling should submit their Letter of Intent (LOI) to DFAS no later than November 1, 2023. If we do not receive the LOI by November 1, we may not be able to provide an individual estimate in time for you to enroll by the deadline. We strongly recommend you upload your LOI via our askDFAS online upload tool. Please note: You can enroll without getting an individual estimate.
For a member already receiving retired pay: Upon enrollment you will be legally responsible and obligated to pay a “buy-in premium”. The buy-in premium is comprised of (a) amounts you would have been required to pay you had enrolled in SBP at an earlier opportunity plus (b) additional open season costs.
To protect a retiree from making a legal commitment to payment of an undetermined amount for the buy-in premium (which may be thousands of dollars) we set up a four-step process that includes a request for an estimate prior to officially enrolling and making that legal commitment.
However, a retiree can enroll without an estimate by submitting an official Enrollment Form, including your choice for how to pay the buy-in premium. Keep in mind that unless we receive a written request to cancel your enrollment within 30 days of the date of your signature on the enrollment form, you will be legally obligated to pay the buy-in premium and monthly premiums.
Please see our special focus webpage for important information, FAQs and forms:
We will also have example Buy-In Premiums posted on the webpage. The examples will help you gauge the size of what your Buy-In Premium could be, if you haven’t requested an estimate.