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DD Form 2656

The US government supports its former or deceased service members and suggests excellent retirement options. But one needs to take care of it before retirement itself. With the DD Form 2656 (Data for Payment of Retired Personnel), you may study your retirement options. Hereunder, you will find the necessary information on retired military personnel’s benefits and recommendations on filing a retired pay form.

Survivor Benefit Plan Enrollment

The US Department of Veterans Affairs strongly advises asking for Branch of Service assistance when deciding on your further retirement options. Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) is potentially the most significant Department of Defense program designed to support former military servants and their families.

SBP is a binding contract that provides life-long pension guarantees for its beneficiaries. Pensioners are usually family members of the retiree, more commonly spouses or children. Still, it is also possible for the parents, former husbands, wives, or even business partners to claim SBP coverage. If the relevant authorities satisfy their request, they will receive a monthly payment at a fixed rate. In plain words, SBP is very similar to insurance as it protects people from financial insecurity after the servicemember’s retirement or death.

Former spouses of military personnel can also file for special assistance using DD 2656-10 form. It usually contains some personal information about the particular military retiree and the applicant, including the commencement and termination date of their marriage. Apart from this, the applicants must provide a court order or a legally binding agreement to prove they are eligible for the SBP Election. Before you apply, please read the SBP Elections and Eligible Beneficiaries requirements on the DFAS official website.

Remember that you can only use the SBP enrollment opportunity within a year after retirement or after you have effectively ended your marriage to a deceased servicemember.

When to Use the DD Form 2656

The 2656 form is an essential document for the retiring military personnel. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service has worked out and issued several variations of it to make the retirement procedures transparent.

You need to consider all the details of your potential retirement plan and make sure it covers your family and loved ones. Please start the preparation process beforehand and learn everything you can about the DFAS retirement plant to make an informed decision.

How to Fill Out the DD Form 2656

First up, you need to obtain the corresponding application form. We suggest you use our software tools and developments to build the necessary document.

We have prepared some simple step-by-step instructions on how to complete the DD 2656 Form successfully for your convenience. It will take you about 15 minutes to fill out. The form consists of five parts, so let us take a closer look at each one of them.

  • Read the Instructions

You may find detailed instructions on filing procedures at the end of the form (3 pages). We strongly advise you to read them carefully before you proceed to fill out the form.

  • Retiree Identification

In the first part of the application, you need to enter the retiree’s personal data. Please fill in the full name, Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, retirement transfer date, rank (or paygrade), and a military service branch in the respective boxes (as shown in the picture). Below you also need to indicate if the retiree is currently in the Active or Reserve military component and a participant of any suggested retirement plan.

step 2 retiree identification - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Enter Contact Information

Please enter your mailing address, including state, city street, and ZIP code. Make sure to inform the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in case your mailing address changes. Then, provide your preferred communication method (telephone or email).

step 3 enter contact information - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Deposit Transfer Information

This section suggests that you enter your separation payment info. Please fill in the payment type received and its gross amount. You need to attach supporting documents to prove the fact of payment. Submit copies of all existing orders and a completed DD Form 214. You may list all your attachments in the blank section below.

step 4 deposit transfer information - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Indicate Veterans Affairs Compensation

Make sure to enter the retiree’s name and SSN at the top of each page of your application (as shown in the picture). First, you need to agree to inform the Defense Finance and Accounting Service on any award (and its amount) you receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Then, provide the necessary payment details.

step 5.1 indicate veterans affairs compensation - filling out a dd form 2656
Designate your VA payment beneficiaries and enter their personal data, including name, SSN, relationship to you, and physical address, in the corresponding table. Enter the share on the right-hand side.

step 5.2 indicate veterans affairs compensation - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Provide Tax Withholding Info

The IRS requires you to provide your marital status, exemption claims, and other withholding information for federal tax purposes. Please enter the required information in the respective blank boxes.

step 6.1 provide tax withholding info - filling out a dd form 2656
You may share additional tax withholding information in the next section if you prefer a monthly tax withholding plan.

step 6.2 provide tax withholding info - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Fill Out the Lump Sum Election Details

The second part of the application form implies that you elect to receive a lump sum. Choose the lump sum percentage and the annual installment you would like to receive. The retiree must perform the election not later than 90 days before the retirement transfer date (Part 1, Section 1, Item 4 of the application form).

step 7.1 fill out the lump sum election details - filling out a dd form 2656
Once you complete the section and double-check the submitted information, you may put your signature and current calendar date.

step 7.2 fill out the lump sum election details - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Provide Dependency Information

If you are currently married, enter your spouse’s full name, SSN, date of birth, and then indicate the date and place of marriage commencement.

step 8.1 provide dependency information - filling out a dd form 2656
If you and your spouse have underaged dependent children, please fill in their names, SSN, date of birth, relationship, and disability status (if applicable). Mark your children from a former spouse (if any) with an FS sign in brackets.

step 8.2 provide dependency information - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Choose a Survivor Benefit Plan

This part is meant for Reserve component service members only. We suggest you use SBP expert counseling before making your decision. You may also consult your spouse and elect your personal SBP option together. Once you finalize your decision, check all the corresponding boxes below.

step 9 choose a survivor benefit plan - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Ensure Certification

The document requires certification and notarization. You could confirm all the submitted data under designated penalties of perjury, put a signature and calendar date, and provide one lawful witness to sign the application form as well.

step 10 ensure certification - filling out a dd form 2656

  • Provide SBP Concurrence and Notarization

Your spouse shall agree with the Survivor Benefit Plan choice you make by putting a date and signature on this application form. The spouse must sign the document on the same day the Notary Public does. Once you check all the submitted data and signatures, the notary witness puts a signature and seals the paper.

step 11 provide sbp concurrence and notarization - filling out a dd form 2656

How to File a Completed DD Form 2656

Once you complete the application form and submit all supporting documentation, you should send the documents to the designated Department of Defence office. You may find all contact information and data routine use disclosure at the beginning of the form.

Do not forget to inform the Defence Financial and Accounting Service about any changes in your marital status, physical or mailing address, and financial institution.