Module 3 (CQS III) – Federal Retirement Plans in Divorce – Strategies & Issues

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Introduction to Federal Retirement Plans in Divorce

CQS III is concentrated on dividing retirement plans associated with the federal government, the largest employer in the country.  Emphasis is placed on the treatment of the former spouse and the differences between retirement plans sponsored by the federal government as oppose to those retirement plans in the private sector.

CSRS/FERS vs. Private Sector Pensions

                        Terms & Definitions Used 

What Federal Benefits Are Valued or Divided in Divorce

Accumulated Sick & Annual Leave Pay

Applying Military Years & Affect on Divorce

Computing the Accrued Monthly CSRS/FERS/CSRS Offset Annuity 

A Brief Introduction to a Valuation of CSRS/FERS 

                        Retirement Annuity

                        Pension Valuation Basics

Tax Discounts

Application of Military Years

Determining the Marital Portion

Determining the Marital Portion of the Monthly FERS

/CSRS Annuity

Different Approaches to Defining the Marital Portion 

FERS/CSRS In-Pay (Retired)

Options Available to Federal Employees in Divorce

Determining the Value of Survivor Annuity – An Asset to the

Former Spouse

Determining the Cost/Reduction to Provide a Survivor Annuity

under CSRS and FERS 

CSRS & Social Security

                        Difference Between CSRS & FERS

Inequity for CSRS Members

Approaches to Extracting Social Security Element

Windfall Profit Elimination Rule & Other Offsets 

Court Order Division – COAP Strategies & Issues I

What Constitutes a “Court Order for Processing”

Historical Perspective

Discovery

Alimony & Child Support

FERS Supplement

Court Order Division – COAP Strategies & Issues II

Crafting the COAP

Apportioning the Retirement Annuity

Method of Apportionment, Dollar Amount, Percentage, Formula

–  Awarding a Fixed Dollar Amount Per Month

–  Awarding a Percentage of the Retirement Annuity

–  Awarding a Prorata Share at Retirement

–  Awarding a Formula or a Fraction

–  Additional Benefit Considerations

Addressing the Potential for a Refund of Contribution

Death of a Former Spouse

Death of the Federal Employee Spouse

Completing the COAP 

CSRS & FERS Disability Annuity

Computing Disability Retirement Under FERS

Determining What is “Marital”

Suggested Language

Thrift Savings Plan & Divorce Issues 

                        Gains & Losses

Loans

Retirement Benefits Court Order

Computing the Marital Portion – Contributions & Earnings

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