2022 AFBA Financial Planning Guide

SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN — Situations That Cause a Change in Participation




Coverage and costs under the SBP cease. If you resume active duty, you may elect SBP again upon retirement from your active duty status. Premiums paid for SBP while on TDRL will count towards the 360 premiums for paid-up SBP.

Removal from the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) with no further entitlement to retired pay.


You are not now married but you marry later.

Election to cover the new spouse must be made within one year from the date of your first marriage following retirement.

Upon marriage or having children after you have been retired.


No dependent children at present but you have them later.

Election to cover dependent’s children must be made within one year of gaining the first child following retirement.

Deductions will end the first day of the month after loss of spouse. The member is responsible for reporting the death or divorce. If the retiree divorces, deductions will cease unless the retiree elects, within one year from the date of divorce, to change to “former spouse” coverage or the former spouse deems to have coverage based upon court order or written agreement.

You are married at retirement and a covered spouse subsequently dies; you are divorced; or your marriage is annulled.


You have SBP coverage for a person with an insurable interest and, after retirement, you marry someone with or without children or acquire an eligible child.

You may cancel the coverage for the person with the insurable interest and, within the first year of your marriage, elect SBP coverage for a spouse only, spouse with child, or child only.


You have SBP coverage and have been rated totally disabled by the VA for 10 consecutive years or 5 continuous years since last on active duty (retirement).

You may withdraw from the SBP program with spouse’s concurrence. SBP premiums you paid will be refunded to your spouse upon your death.

You have SBP coverage for someone other than a former spouse — someone who has an insurable interest in your estate (e.g., child, parent, sibling, or business partner).


You may cancel insurable interest SBP coverage at any time.

Between 25th and 36th month following commencement of retired pay.

You may terminate SBP coverage. If terminating spousal coverage or former spousal coverage their concurrence is required.

If married at time of death of former spouse, you have one year to change to spouse SBP. If not married at the time of the former spouse’s death, you have one year from the date of a subsequent marriage to elect spouse SBP.


Former spouse who is SBP beneficiary dies.


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