Once you/your ex-spouse have worked together to elect former spouse survivor benefit coverage, you should be aware of some triggering events that will terminate the coverage. This will allow you to prepare for the change in financial circumstances if your survivor benefit coverage goes away and payments stop.

Voluntary Termination

One way that Survivor Benefit Plan election can change is through a request to voluntarily discontinue participation. This means that a member participating in the Survivor Benefit Plan may submit this request to stop the coverage. This is an option during a one-year period beginning on the second anniversary of the date the retired pay begins. Importantly, an insurable interest election that covers a former spouse may not be cancelled at any time.


If the former spouse remarries before the age of 55, the Survivor Benefit Plan coverage is suspended and the cost deductions from retired pay will stop. Importantly, if the remarriage ends by death or divorce, the Survivor Benefit Plan coverage can be reinstated.


If the former spouse who is covered under the Survivor Benefit Plan dies, the death certificate must accompany notice of the death to Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Once the death certificate is received, the survivor benefit plan costs will be stopped effective the first day of the month after the death. These funds may be refunded based on the date on the death certificate.

If you have any questions about survivor benefit coverage, please call me today at 651-647-0087 or reach out via our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

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