Pensions, Divorce and the Civil Service Retirement System
Key Points
  • The government sets up retirement benefits through the civll service retirement system.
  • The alternate payee will receive his or her benefit once the participant retires.
  • If the alternate payee is entitled to a Former Spouse Annuity, monthly benefits start upon the death of the participant and continue throughout the lifetime of the alternate payee. If the alternate payee remarries prior to the age of 55, he or she is not entitled to the Former Spouse Survivor Annuity benefit.

Government employees are members of either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS):

Examples: employees of the Postal Service, Federal Aviation Dept., civilian employees on military bases.

When a Court Order Acceptable for Processing is drafted, monthly benefits will commence to the Alternate Payee when the Participant retires, and will continue being paid for the lifetime of the Participant. If the Alternate Payee is entitled to a Former Spouse Survivor Annuity, such monthly annuity shall commence upon the Participant's death, and continue for the life of the Alternate Payee.

Some Key Facts to Remember:

An Alternate Payee can either be awarded a share of the Net Benefit (amount of the annuity after health insurance premiums, medicare premiums, etc. have been deducted from the gross benefit) or the Gross Benefit.

There are a number of different Former Spouse Survivor Annuities available to a Former Spouse under these plans. However, the cost of such annuity must be deducted from either the Employee's annuity or the Former Spouse's share of the Employee's annuity or both annuities equally.

If the Alternate Payee remarries prior to reaching age 55, he/she will not be entitled to a Former Spouse Survivor Annuity under the guidelines of the Plans.

Suggested Reading
Pension Issues in Divorce Pension Issues in Divorce
When couples get divorced they must decide how to divide their property. Retirement benefits (pensions) often form a substantial part of the parties' total marital estate and many times are the largest single marital asset afforded the couple. Similar to other assets, pensions are typically divisible in cases of divorce to the extent that they are acquired during the period of marriage.

Download Now

Recent Related Blog Posts
    All Retirement Account Blog Posts

Related Article Archives
Property & Debt Division
Property Valuations
Tax Aspects
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Divorce, Dollars & Debt
Divorce Financial Planning
Taxes & Divorce
    All Categories
Related Forums
Financial Aspects
Property & Debt
Tax Aspects
    All Forums

Resources & Tools

Bookstore Promotion Discount

Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.
MANY MODELS -- Pension and retirement plans come in a bewildering array, with many diverse provisions; however, the two basic models are: the defined benefit or defined contribution. The defined benefit plan is generally a retirement annuity, wherein the employee contributes nothing and the employer sets aside benefits for all employees in a pool; the defined contribution plan is an individual or separate account in the employee-spouse's name, whereby he or she contributes pretax dollars to his or her account that are matched to a certain amount by the employer's contribution.

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Online QDRO Preparation

Online QDRO Preparation
QdroDeskTM. provides family law attorneys, their clients, and pro se filers an instant, easy, accurate, and affordable way to prepare Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), the appropriate settlement agreement language, and processing instructions. And does it all online, with an easy to use, question-and-answer format that has made QdroDeskTM. an industry leader.

Online Pension Valuations

Online Pension Valuations
PensionAppraisalDeskTM uses a mathematical, web-based calculation software that gives family law attorneys, their clients, and pro se filers an instant, easy, accurate appraisal of the present value of pension benefits for equitable distribution upon divorce.
Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site