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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 19, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 838Subpart F → Subject Group


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 838—COURT ORDERS AFFECTING RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Subpart F—Terminology Used in Court Orders Affecting Employee Annuities or Refunds of Employee Contributions


Identification of Benefits

§838.611   Identifying the retirement system.

(a) To satisfy the requirements of §838.303(b)(1) or §838.502(b)(1), a court order must contain language identifying the retirement system to be affected. For example, “CSRS,” “FERS,” “OPM,” or “Federal Government” benefits, or benefits payable “based on service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” etc., are sufficient identification of the retirement system.

(b) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, language referring to benefits under another retirement system, such as military retired pay, Foreign Service retirement benefits or Central Intelligence Agency retirement benefits, does not satisfy the requirements of §838.303(b)(1) or §838.502(b)(1).

(1) A court order that mistakenly labels CSRS benefits as FERS benefits and vice versa satisfies the requirements of §§838.303(b)(1) and 838.502(b)(1).

(2) Unless the court order expressly provides otherwise, for employees transferring to FERS, court orders directed at CSRS benefits apply to the entire FERS basic benefit, including the CSRS component, if any. Such a court order satisfies the requirements of §§838.303(b)(1) and 838.502(b)(1).

(c) A court order affecting military retired pay, even when military retired pay has been waived for inclusion in CSRS annuities, does not award a former spouse a portion of an employee annuity or a refund of employee contributions under CSRS or FERS. Such a court order does not satisfy the requirements of §838.303(b)(1) or §838.502(b)(1).

§838.612   Distinguishing between annuities and contributions.

(a) A court order that uses terms such as “annuities,” “pensions,” “retirement benefits,” or similar terms, without distinguishing between phased retirement annuity payable to a phased retiree, or composite retirement annuity payable to a phased retiree upon entry into full retirement status, and employee annuity payable to a retiree, satisfies the requirements of §§838.303(b)(2) and 838.502(b)(2) for purposes of dividing any employee annuity or a refund of employee contributions.

(b)(1) A court order using “contributions,” “deductions,” “deposits,” “retirement accounts,” “retirement fund,” or similar terms satisfies the requirements of §838.502(b)(2) and may be used only to divide the amount of contributions that the employee has paid into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

(2) Unless the court order specifically states otherwise, when an employee annuity is payable, a court order using the terms specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section satisfies the requirements of §838.303(b)(2) and awards the former spouse a benefit to be paid in equal monthly installments at 50 percent of the gross annuity beginning on the date the employee annuity commences or the date of the court order, whichever comes later, until the specific dollar amount is reached.

[79 FR 46627, Aug. 8, 2014]

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