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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

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

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 838Subpart G → Subject Group


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 838—COURT ORDERS AFFECTING RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Subpart G—Procedures for Processing Court Orders Awarding Former Spouse Survivor Annuities


Payment Procedures

§838.731   Commencing date of payments.

(a) A former spouse survivor annuity based on a court order acceptable for processing begins to accrue in accordance with the terms of the court order but no earlier than the later of—

(1) The first day after the date of death of the employee, separated employee, or retiree; or

(2) The first day of the second month after OPM receives a copy of the court order acceptable for processing.

(b) OPM will not authorize payment of the former spouse survivor annuity until it receives an application and supporting documentation required under §838.721.

§838.732   Termination of entitlement.

(a) A former spouse survivor annuity (other than the FERS basic employee death benefit as defined in §843.102 of this chapter) or the right to a future former spouse survivor annuity based on a court order acceptable for processing terminates in accordance with the terms of the court order but no later than the last day of the month before the former spouse remarries before age 55 or dies.

(b) If the employee dies before the former spouse remarries before age 55 or dies, the former spouse's entitlement to the FERS basic employee death benefit as defined in §843.102 of this chapter based on a court order acceptable for processing terminates in accordance with the terms of the court order.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 43493, Aug. 17, 1993]

§838.733   Rights of current and other former spouses after termination of a former spouse's entitlement.

(a) If a former spouse of a retiree loses entitlement to a former spouse survivor annuity based on a court order acceptable for processing while the retiree is living and—

(1) If court orders acceptable for processing award former spouse survivor annuities to other former spouses, OPM will continue the reduction to comply with court orders in the order specified in §838.135;

(2) If paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not obligate the entire entitlement lost by he former spouse, OPM will continue the reduction to provide a current spouse survivor annuity or a former spouse survivor annuity based on a timely-filed election under §831.611, §831.612, §831.631, §831.632, §842.603, §842.604, §842.611, or §842.612 of this chapter; or

(3) If paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section do not obligate the entire entitlement lost by the former spouse, the retiree (except a retiree under CSRS who retired before May 7, 1985 and who remarried before February 27, 1986) may elect within 2 years after the former spouse loses entitlement to continue the reduction to provide a survivor annuity for a spouse acquired after retirement.

(b)(1) If a former spouse of an employee or retiree loses entitlement to a former spouse survivor annuity based on a court order acceptable for processing after the death of the employee or retiree and—

(i) If court orders acceptable for processing award former spouse survivor annuities to other former spouses, OPM will pay the next entitled former spouse in the order specified in §838.135; or

(ii) If paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not obligate the entire entitlement lost by the former spouse, OPM will pay the balance to a current spouse of the deceased—

(A) Retiree who had elected a reduced annuity to provide a current spouse annuity (as defined in §831.603 or §842.602); or

(B) Employee.

(2) Except as provided in §838.734—

(i) The former spouse survivor annuity based on paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section begins to accrue in accordance with the terms of the court order but no earlier than the later of—

(A) The first day of the month in which the former spouse with the earlier-issued court order loses entitlement; or

(B) The first day of the second month after OPM receives a copy of the court order acceptable for processing; or

(ii) The current spouse annuity under paragraph (b)(1) (ii) of this section begins to accrue on the first day of the month in which the former spouse loses entitlement.

(c) OPM will not authorize payment of the former spouse survivor annuity until it receives an application and supporting documentation required under §838.721.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 52882, Oct. 13, 1993]

§838.734   Payment of lump-sum awards by survivor annuity.

OPM will not honor court orders awarding lump-sum payments (other than the FERS basic employee death benefit as defined in §843.102 of this chapter) to a former spouse upon the death of an employee or retiree.

[57 FR 33574, July 29, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 43493, Aug. 17, 1993]

§838.735   Cost-of-living adjustments.

(a) OPM applies cost-of-living adjustments to all former spouse survivor annuities in pay status at the time of the adjustment and in the amount provided by Federal statute.

(b) OPM will not honor provisions of a court order that alters the time or amount of cost-of-living adjustments or that attempts to prevent OPM from applying cost-of-living adjustments to a former spouse survivor annuity in pay status.

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