Pensions, Divorce and the Civil Service Retirement System
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.
Resources & Tools
A VALUABLE ASSET – Pensions and retirement plans often have significant value. The value of a typical pension benefit payable in the future can be deceiving. For example, a $2,000 monthly benefit payable for life beginning at age 65 can have a value of $100,000 to $200,000 for a person in his or her fifties today. Calculating the value of a pension demands an appraisal to compute its present value, which is the value of money over time.
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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.
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