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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 19, 2014

Title 22Chapter ISubchapter BPart 19 → §19.11-2


Title 22: Foreign Relations
PART 19—BENEFITS FOR SPOUSES AND FORMER SPOUSES OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY SYSTEM


§19.11-2   Regular survivor annuity for a former spouse.

(a) Divorce prior to retirement. If a participant or former participant is divorced prior to commencement of annuity, any former spouse shall be entitled to a pro rata share of such a principal's maximum regular survivor annuity (based on service performed prior to the first date the principal becomes eligible for an annuity following the divorce) unless a different amount is elected in a spousal agreement filed with PER/ER/RET within 12 months after the divorce becomes final or at the time of the retirement, whichever occurs first, or unless a different amount is specified by a court prior to the death of the principal. The principal's annuity shall be reduced at the commencing date under §19.10-2 in order to provide the survivor annuity committed to the former spouse.

(b) Divorce after retirement. In the event an annuitant is divorced after retirement (commencement of annuity), the maximum survivor annuity that may be provided for that former spouse is limited to the amount provided for that person at the time of retirement. Within that limit, the former spouse is entitled to a pro rata share of the participant's maximum survivor benefit (based on service performed prior to the divorce) unless a different amount was elected in a spousal agreement filed with PER/ER/RET at the time of retirement, or in the case of retirement before February 15, 1981, filed with PER/ER/RET within 12 months after the divorce becomes final, or unless a different amount is specified by a court prior to the death of the principal. For this purpose, a joint election filed with PER/ER/RET at the time of retirement is considered a spousal agreement. If the survivor annuity for the former spouse is reduced at the time of the divorce (because the pro rata share or the amount specified in a spousal agreement or court order is less than the amount elected at retirement), the principal's annuity shall be recomputed and paid, effective on the date the survivor benefit is reduced, as if the lower amount had been elected at the outset of retirement.

(c) Death or remarriage of former spouse and transfer of survivor benefit to a spouse. Remarriage below age 60 or death of a former spouse while a principal is alive will disqualify the former spouse for benefits under this section. In the event of such a remarriage or death of a former spouse, the portion of a principal's survivor annuity committed to that person will become available for transfer to any spouse. If such a remarriage or death of the former spouse occurs after the principal's annuity commences, any reduction in the principal's annuity for that former spouse will be discontinued effective at the beginning of the first month following the remarriage or death unless the annuitant elects to provide or to increase a survivor benefit for a spouse. Such an election may be made within one year after the annuitant receives notice of the remarriage or death of his/her former spouse. The Department (PER/ER/RET) and the annuitant shall each notify the other promptly whenever either receives independent notice of such a remarriage or death. If an election to transfer survivor benefits to a spouse is not made by the annuitant, his/her annuity will be recomputed and paid as if there had been no reduction for the discontinued survivor benefit. If an annuity is so recomputed and an election is subsequently made to designate as beneficiary a spouse to whom married for at least one year at the time the election is made, the principal's annuity shall be restored retroactively to its former, lower rate and then adjusted by cost-of-living increases that have occured since the date of the first recomputation. If an election is made for a spouse when the marriage has not yet lasted a year, the procedures in §19.10-4 shall be followed.

(d) Amount of survivor annuity. The amount of a regular survivor annuity is determined under §19.11-3(c).

(e) Special rules for election of survivor annuity for a person who is a former spouse on February 15, 1981. (1) Any participant, or former participant eligible for a deferred annuity which has not yet commenced, who, on February 15, 1981 has a former spouse, may at any time prior to commencement of annuity, elect, with the consent of any spouse to whom married at the time of the election, to receive a reduced annuity and provide a regular survivor annuity for such former spouse. Such survivor annuity shall be limited by §19.10-2(b). An election under this paragraph for a former spouse will reduce the amount of any regular survivor annuity that may subsequently be provided for any spouse or other former spouse.

(2) Any former participant in receipt of an annuity who has a former spouse on February 15, 1981 and who has not committed his/her entire annuity as a base for a regular survivor annuity for a spouse or any other former spouse, may, prior to December 31, 1982, designate any portion of the uncommitted base as the base for a regular survivor annuity for such former spouse.

(3) The annuity of a former participant making an election under this paragraph shall be reduced under §19.10-2(a) effective February 15, 1981, or from its commencing date if later.

(4) An election under this paragraph shall be made by filing a spousal agreement with PER/ER/RET under §19.7. A spousal agreement to provide a regular survivor annuity under this paragraph for a former spouse may be revoked or amended after its acceptance by PER/ER/RET as in accordance with the Act and these regulations, only by agreement of the parties up to the last day allowed by this paragraph for filing such an agreement. Thereafter, it is irrevocable. If a participant dies in service after having filed a valid election under this section, a survivor annuity will be paid to an eligible former suriving spouse in accordance with the terms of the election.



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