Legal Reference

A court order following annulment of marriage, legal separation, or divorce can divide or apportion an annuity. The order must expressly direct the Office of Personnel Management to pay a portion of your monthly benefit. The spouse’s share must be stated as a fixed amount, a percentage or fraction of your annuity, or by a formula with a readily apparent value.

The amount cannot exceed the money payable after deductions for taxes and insurance. Following the dissolution of a marriage after retirement, any survivor benefit you elected at retirement is no longer payable. A monthly survivor benefit would be payable to your former spouse after your death if one is provided by court order or your new election. Your marriage must have lasted for at least nine months to allow a court-ordered benefit.

In addition, a retiring employee may voluntarily elect a fully or partially reduced annuity to provide a former spouse survivor annuity. However, if the employee has remarried, this election may only be made if the current spouse consents to it. A former spouse survivor annuity ends if the former spouse remarries before becoming age 55 unless you and your former spouse were married for at least 30 years.