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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 838Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 838—COURT ORDERS AFFECTING RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Subpart A—Court Orders Generally


Procedures Applicable to all Court Orders

§838.131   Computation of time.

(a) The rules applicable for computation of time under §§831.107 and 841.109 of this chapter apply to this part.

(b)(1) Appendix A of this subpart lists the proper addresses for submitting court orders affecting CSRS and FERS benefits.

(2) A former spouse or child abuse creditor should submit the documentation required by this part to the address provided in appendix A of this subpart. The component of OPM responsible for processing court orders will note the date of receipt on court orders that it receives.

(3) If a court order is delivered to OPM at an address other than the address in appendix A of this subpart, the recipient will forward the court order to the component of OPM responsible for processing court orders. However, OPM is not considered to have received the court order until the court order is received in the component of OPM responsible for processing orders.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 66638, Dec. 28, 1994]

§838.132   Payment schedules.

(a) Under CSRS and FERS, employee annuities and survivor annuities are payable on the first business day of the month following the month in which the benefit accrues.

(b) In honoring and complying with a court order, OPM will not disrupt the payment schedule described in paragraph (a) of this section, despite any provision in the court order directing a different schedule of accrual or payment of amounts due the former spouse or child abuse creditor.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 66638, Dec. 28, 1994]

§838.133   Minimum awards.

Payments under this part will not be less than one dollar per month. Any court order that awards a former spouse a portion of an employee annuity or a former spouse survivor annuity in an amount of less than one dollar per month will be treated as an award of an annuity equal to one dollar per month.

§838.134   Receipt of multiple court orders.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, for court orders affecting employee annuities or awarding former spouse survivor annuities, in the event that OPM receives two or more court orders acceptable for processing—

(1) When the court orders relate to two or more individuals (former spouses or child abuse creditors), the court orders will be honored in the order in which they were received by OPM to the maximum extent possible under §838.211 or §838.711.

(2) When two or more court orders relate to the same former spouse, separated spouse, or child abuse creditor the one issued last will be honored.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, for court orders affecting refunds of employee contributions, in the event that OPM receives two or more court orders acceptable for processing—

(i) When the court orders affect two or more former spouses—

(A) The refund will not be paid if either court order prohibits payment of the refund of contributions; otherwise,

(B) The court orders will be honored in the order in which they were issued until the contributions have been exhausted.

(ii) When two or more court orders relate to the same former spouse, the one issued last will be honored first.

(2) In no event will the amount paid out exceed the amount of the refund of employee contributions.

(c) With respect to issues relating to the validity of a court order or to the amount of payment—

(1) If the employee, separated employee, retiree, or other person adversely affected by the court order and former spouse submit conflicting court orders from the same jurisdiction, OPM will consider only the latest court order; or

(2) If the employee, separated employee, retiree, or other person adversely affected by the court order and former spouse submit conflicting court orders from different jurisdictions—

(i) If one of the court orders is from the jurisdiction shown as the employee's, separated employee's, or retiree's address in OPM's records, OPM will consider only the court order issued by that jurisdiction; or

(ii) If none of the court orders is from the jurisdiction shown as the employee's, separated employee's, or retiree's address in OPM's records, OPM will consider only the latest court order.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 66638, Dec. 28, 1994]

§838.135   Settlements.

(a) OPM must comply with the terms of a properly filed court order acceptable for processing even if the retiree and the former spouse agree that they want OPM to pay an amount different from the amount specified in the court order. Information about OPM's processing of amended court orders is contained in §§838.225 and 838.806.

(b)(1) OPM will not honor a request from the former spouse that an amount less than the amount provided in the court order be withheld from an employee annuity or a refund of employee contributions.

(2) OPM will not honor a request from the retiree that an amount greater than the amount provided in the court order be withheld from an employee annuity or a refund of employee contributions.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 3202, Jan. 8, 1993]

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