DoD

November 26, 2013

SBP officials offer same-sex coverage guidance

Tammy Cournoyer
Air Force Retiree Services

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Survivor Benefit Plan program enrollment is now available for eligible retirees in same-sex marriages.

The program provides a monthly income to survivors of retired Airmen upon the retiree’s death when retired pay stops. Survivors of Airmen recalled to active duty from retirement who die while on active duty, may also be protected by the SBP.

Since the recent Supreme Court decision declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Department of Defense officials have been working to ensure SBP coverage is offered to eligible same-sex married couples.

Eligibility — The Department of Defense issued guidance stating, effective June 26, 2013, a person who became eligible to participate in the SBP program and is married to a same-sex spouse will have the program applied as with any other retiree married couple, including the requirement for spousal consent for less than full annuity coverage of the spouse.

Enrollment eligibility began June 26, 2013, for same-sex couples who were legally married on or after that date. No SBP premiums for coverage will be charged before June 26, 2013, nor will any annuity payments be paid for deaths before that date.

Enrollment for retired service members married to a same sex partner on or before June 26, 2013 — Retirees married to a same sex partner on or before June 26, 2013, must apply for SBP coverage by June 25, 2014. To make an election, retirees complete the DD Form 2656, Data for Payment of Retired Personnel. Spousal concurrence is required on the DD Form 2656 if the retiree elects to participate at less than maximum (full) coverage. Failure to make an SBP election by June 25, 2014, will result in the Defense Finance and Accounting Service establishing automatic full SBP coverage.

If a retiree originally elected child coverage at the time of retirement, a same sex spouse may be added at the same level of coverage. To add a spouse, complete a DD Form 2656-6, Survivor Benefit Plan Election Change Certificate, and send it with a copy of the marriage certificate to DFAS before June 25, 2014.

If a retiree originally elected SBP coverage for an insurable interest person at the time of retirement, he or she may terminate this coverage and elect spouse coverage. If the retiree desires full spouse coverage, they complete a DD Form 2656-6, Survivor Benefit Plan Election Change Certificate, and send it with a copy of the marriage certificate to DFAS by June 25, 2014. If the retiree elects a reduced level of coverage, spousal concurrence is required. In these instances, the retiree completes the DD Form 2656, Data for Payment of Retired Personnel, and sends it with a copy of the marriage certificate to DFAS by June 25, 2014.

Enrollment for retired service members married after June 26, 2013 — Retirees who become married to a same sex partner on any date after June 26, 2013 must apply for SBP coverage before the first anniversary date. To apply for SBP, the retiree completes a DD Form 2656-6, Survivor Benefit Plan Election Change Certificate, and sends it with a copy of the marriage certificate to DFAS. If an election is not made within the first year of marriage, the retiree forfeits their opportunity to participate in the plan.

Terminate suspended spouse coverage upon remarriage — Generally, a retiree who participated in the plan and has suspended spouse coverage may elect not to provide coverage for a new spouse in the event of a remarriage.

If the remarriage occurred before June 26, 2013, the participant has one year from June 26, 2013, to elect out of SBP. If an election is not made, spouse coverage will resume effective June 25, 2014.

Retirees who enter into a same-sex marriage after June 26, 2013, must submit a DD Form 2656-6, Survivor Benefit Election Change Certificate, within one year of the remarriage. If the retiree does not notify DFAS of the remarriage, spouse coverage will resume effective the first anniversary of the marriage.

Assistance is available and encouraged — Retirees should seek the assistance of a SBP counselor when making an election. For more information or help with completing SBP application forms, call 877-353-6807 to contact the SBP or casualty assistance representative at the nearest Air Force base.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>