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In divorce, can court order 75% of husband's FERS/CSRS pension to wife if parties agree on it?


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I have seen QDROs that allocate 100% of the marital portion to the AP.  I don't believe there is any limit, assuming both sides agree and it doesn't result in any additional net benefits.

 

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The Order used to allocate a FERS and CSRS annuity is called a Court Order Acceptable for Processing ("COAP"). It is not called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO") since that relates only to plans under the Federal law known as ERISA, and FERS and CSRS are not under ERISA. 

Yes it is is possible to award 100% of the Employee's retirement annuity to a Former Spouse but I have never seen that done in the 33 years that I have been preparing COAPs. 

100% of the "marital share" is not necessarily the same as 100% of the retirement annuity since the marital share is determined by a taking the full and unreduced amount of the retirement annuity and multiplying it by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of months during the marriage that the Employee accrued creditable service toward retirement, and the denominator of which  is the total number of months of creditable service accrued by the Employee at the time of retirement.  Only if all of the Employees service took place during the marriage is the marital portion equal to 100% of the retirement annuity. 

Note that in a Military retirement the maximum that can be awarded to a Former Spouse is 50% of the Members disposable retired pay.  

The 50% and 55% you mentioned relate to the survivor annuity payable to the Former Spouse after the death of the Employee, and not to the retirement annuity payable during his lifetime.  The maximum survivor annuity under CSRS is 55% of the full and unreduced retirement annuity.  The maximum survivor annuity under FERS is 50% of the full and unreduced retirement annuity.  

Note that the full and unreduced retirement annuity is known as the "self only" amount.  When you deduct the cost of the survivor annuity you are left with the "gross" annuity.   

I hope this is helpful.      

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