Retirement after divorce


Q. When planning an immediate retirement under FERS after 30 years and beyond minimum retirement age and divorced for over 15 years, is either party required to produce a divorce decree during the retirement process to show no retirement money is due or not due to the retired employee’s ex-spouse after retirement?

A. Yes. You’ll find the requirement to provide that information in the Application for Immediate Retirement: Section E of Standard Form 2801 (CSRS) or Section C of Standard Form 3107 (FERS).


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. I am divorced. My divorce papers state that both parties are intitled to 1/2 of our pensions. Local 91 refused my claim stating we were divorced more than 10 years. I sent them all the paper work they asked for my marriage license, divorce decree, death certificate, and the section where it pertained to our pensions. Help!

    • Because labor unions have no role in federal employee divorce settlements (nor are there any time limits), I have to assume that you are retired from the private sector. Since this is a site for federal employees and retirees, we aren’t able to help you.

    • My husband is retiring in the next 9-10 months under FERS. His divorce decree says, “’both parties agree that the husband’s pension plan, during the marital portion only, would be split equally 50/50……. that they would be jointly responsible for the preparation of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)’. The final judgment for divorce was July 19, 1996.

      To date, there is no QDRO or any type of court order filed enforcing this clause of the divorce settlement.

      Will you please confirm whether the above comment reply is true in that ‘if there is no court ordered annuity, no divorce decree required’.

      Thank you

        • Thank you for the response, however I am still unable to determine the answer to my question. There is a paragraph on Page 2, Section C – Marital Information, Item 2: Indicate whether you have a living former spouse to whom a court order awards a survivor annuity or a portion of your retirement benefits based on your Federal employment. If you answer ‘yes’ you must submit a certified copy of the court order and any attachments or amendments. Also on the actual application, Section C – Marital Information, Question #3 asks the same question.

          Since my husband and his ex-wife never filed the QDRO or any type of COAP or court order enforcing the 50/50 split of pension during their marital years, he can technically check ‘NO’ to this question. Am I correct?

          If this correct, there is no need to provide OPM a copy of the 1996 divorce decree, correct?

  2. Tammy, did you ever find an answer to your question. I have the same concern, question. I may go ahead and check yes, get the certified copy of the divorce decree and submit. My divorce decree only has my reserve military retirement and TSP. Military has a formula and TSP is split 50/50. My FERS isn’t motioned or discussed. TSP has been distributed to my ex wife and reserve military will not start when I reach 60 years of age. Again, nothing is mentioned about my FERS being awarded to her. I did try to call OPM for calcification if I had to re-submit divorce decree again for review with no luck, just an address to send it to. I don’t want any hang ups with planning.

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