Federal Government - Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) This type of plan provides a retiree with a monthly payment beginning at retirement for the remainder of the retiree’s lifetime. The benefit payable upon retirement is calculated using a formula. Such formula is defined within the context of the plan. FERS is a defined benefit plan. A defined benefit plan is the type of plan most commonly described when talking about pensions. It is paid monthly for the lifetime of the retiree upon retirement.
Understanding the Federal Employees Retirement System

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Checklist

General Questions to be Answered:

  1. Name, address and phone number of the person requesting the order.
  2. Name of the county in which the divorce is taking place.
  3. Name of the court that has jurisdiction over the divorce.
  4. Name of judicial district/circuit/division, if applicable.
  5. Case reference number.
  6. Name, address, date of birth and Social Security number of the employee (participant/member of the plan).
  7. Name, address, date of birth and Social Security number of the employee’s spouse (alternate payee/former spouse).
  8. Reason for order (marital property rights or alimony).
  9. Date of marriage.
  10. Date the marriage ended.
  11. Date of divorce, if divorced.
  12. Date the employee began participating in the plan, if prior to the date of marriage.
  13. Is the employee still employed, terminated or retired?
  14. The exact name of the pension plan.

Additional Questions to be Answered:

    (Explanations are included with these questions)
  1. What is the form of award to the former spouse (percent or dollar amount)?
  2. Will payments to the former spouse be deducted from the employee’s gross, net or self-only monthly annuity?
  3. Should any salary adjustments that occur after the marriage end date and before retirement be incorporated into the calculation of former spouse’s share of the employee annuity?
  4. Should the former spouse receive a pro-rata share of any post-retirement cost of living adjustments?
  5. Should the former spouse be entitled to a former spouse survivor annuity?
  6. If the employee leaves federal service before retirement and applies for a refund of employee contributions, should the administrator allow a refund?

Additional Provisions that will be included in the Order:

  1. Commencement Date
  2. Cost of Former Spouse Survivor Annuity
  3. Death of Former spouse
  4. Death of Participant
  5. Savings Clause
  6. Constructive Receipt
  7. Effect of Plan Termination
  8. Continued Jurisdiction
  9. Actions by Employee
  10. Notice of Pending Retirement (if applicable)

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