DD Form 2656, Data for Payment of Retired Personnel is used to elect an SBP and designate beneficiaries for retired pay. A fillable DD Form 2656 is available for download and digital filing below or can be accessed through the Executive Services Directorate website.
The latest edition of the form - sometimes incorrectly referred to as the DA Form 2656 - was issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) in January 2018 and provides relevant information needed to establish a retainer or retired pay account and gathers information on any dependents the retiree may have.
There is no mailing address for DD Form 2656. Once you have completed the form, your Branch of Service will send it along with all supporting documentation to DFAS Retired and Annuitant (R&A) Pay for processing.
The form is divided into five parts with each providing specific data about the retiree, their dependents and applicable benefits needed for establishing a retired or retainer pay account.
Part I gathers retired pay information and consists of Sections I through VII. Items 1 through 3 identify the applicant. Item 4 is for entering the date of retirement or transfer to Reserve.
Item 7 is used to indicate whether the applicant is or was a member of the Active or Reserve Component. Item 8 identifies the retirement plan that covers retiree. Items 5, 6 and 9 are self-explanatory.
Items 10, 11, 12 and 13 describe the bank account information of the retiree and the type of account. Item 14 is for identifying any previous separation or severance pay. Item 15 covers VA disability compensation and the monthly amount of award.
Item 16 is for designating beneficiaries for unpaid retired pay. If the retiree does not designate a beneficiary in Item 16 any unpaid retired pay will be paid to the surviving person highest on the following list:
Section VI of Part I consists of Items 17 through 21 and provides federal tax withholding information. Section VII - Items 22, 23 and 24 - covers voluntary state tax withholding.
Part II, Lump Sum Election is optional. Items 25 through 28 in Section VIII are only filed if the retiree is covered under the Blended Retirement System and wants to elect a partial lump sum of retired pay.
Part III is the Survivor Benefit Plan. The SBP pays an inflation-protected annuity to the eligible beneficiary in the event of the retiree's death. Items 29 through 32 provide information about the retiree's spouse and children as well as information about any disabled dependents. The retiree indicates their desired SBP election and designates beneficiaries for SBP in event of death in Section X (Items 33 through 38).
Part IV - or Section XI - consist of Items 39 and 40. The retiree and a witness must certify that the number of withholding exemptions claimed do not exceed the number to which the retiree is entitled by signing the appropriate lines.
Completing Part V, Spouse SBP Concurrence is required only if the retiree declined to elect SBP coverage, elected less than the maximum coverage or elected child-only coverage while having a spouse.
Item 41 is signed by the spouse to signify concurrence with the SBP election made by the retiree. Item 42 is signed by a Notary Witness.
The paper has eight related forms, each with its distinctive features and a specific purpose.
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