How does divorce impact my federal benefits?
Divorce is controlled by state law and in every state in America, federal employment benefits are considered “marital property” to be divided as part of the divorce. Federal employee benefits are affected as follows:
- Pension benefits are typically divided based on the number of years married divided by the total number of years of federal employment times 50% of the actual retirement annuity.
- Thrift Savings Plans are also divided in the divorce and are sometimes divided based on the same analysis as used forthe annuity (See above).
- The divorce may include the award of a survivor’s annuity to the former spouse, but often the cost of the survivor’sannuity is deducted from the ex-spouse’s share of the retirement annuity.
- If the federal employee remarries, the employee may be able to elect a proportionate survivor’s annuity for the new spouse.