Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session: Precluding Retirement to Prevent Annuity Apportionment

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Q:

Can a federal employee preclude retirement when they reach the maximum retirement percentage in order to prevent a former spouse from receiving their court ordered annuity apportionment?

A:

Yes, if you keep working, then you will not be a retiree, and thus will not receive an annuity.  If you are not receiving an annuity, then your former spouse will not receive the court ordered portion of the annuity.  Unless you are in a position which has a mandatory retirement age, you can continue to work even after you “max out.”  However, you should keep in mind that court orders are not designed to be easily evaded by individuals who hope that they will not have to pay a former spouse what a judge has determined is legally due.  Once you retire, if the court order has been properly filed with OPM or your employing Agency, then you former spouse will very likely receive what he or she was apportioned in the court order.

This response is written by Michael S. Causey, associate attorney of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC, a federal employment law firm.

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