What happens to my benefits if I get a divorce?

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Asked on August 16, 2016 7:07 pm
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A court order related to a divorce or separation can divide your annuity, or divide a refund of your retirement contributions made when you leave federal service before retirement.

It can also permit your ex-spouse to continue health insurance coverage, require you to assign your life insurance, garnishee your annuity to pay alimony, child support, in cases involving child abuse, or for Chapter 13 bankruptcy – or require certain distributions from your Thrift Savings Plan account.

However, this is an especially tricky area of federal employment policy because of the relationship between federal and state law and the “spouse equity” provisions in federal law.

Because federal employment matters are governed by federal law, standard court orders used to divide private sector pension plans may not be valid under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System.

And state court orders cannot affect several types of benefits payable under CSRS and FERS.

This FEDweek download gets more into the details.

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Posted by (Questions: 12, Answers: 19)
Answered on August 16, 2016 7:10 pm