415-02-500  <<  415-02-510 >>   415-02-520

WAC 415-02-510

How can a property division dissolution order give my ex-spouse an interest1 in my Plan 1 or 2 retirement account?

(1) Who may use this section?
(a) You must use this section if you are a member of LEOFF Plan 1, WSPRS Plan 1, JRF or JRS, or a nonvested member of LEOFF Plan 2, PERS Plan 1 or 2, PSERS, SERS Plan 2, TRS Plan 1 or 2, or WSPRS Plan 2.
(b) You may use this section if you are a vested member of LEOFF Plan 2, PERS Plan 1 or 2, PSERS, SERS Plan 2, TRS Plan 1 or 2, or WSPRS Plan 2. If you are splitting your retirement account with your ex-spouse, use WAC 415-02-520.
(2) What language must the property division dissolution order or amendment include? The order must include the language in RCW 41.50.670(2), provided below. The order or amendment must state either a specific dollar amount or percentage of the benefit. It cannot state both. (See example in WAC 415-02-500(15).)
If           (the obligor) receives periodic retirement payments as defined in RCW 41.50.500, the department of retirement systems shall pay to         (the obligee)          dollars from such payments or      percent of such payments. If the obligor's debt is expressed as a percentage of his or her periodic retirement payment and the obligee does not have a survivorship interest in the obligor's benefit, the amount received by the obligee shall be the percentage of the periodic retirement payment that the obligor would have received had he or she selected a standard allowance.
If         (the obligor) requests or has requested a withdrawal of accumulated contributions as defined in RCW 41.50.500, or becomes eligible for a lump sum death benefit, the department of retirement systems shall pay to          (the obligee)         dollars plus interest at the rate paid by the department of retirement systems on member contributions. Such interest to accrue from the date of this order's entry with the court of record.
(3) How will my account be affected if the department accepts the property division dissolution order before I retire?
(a) Your ex-spouse will not receive any payments from the department until you terminate your employment or retire.
(b) If you terminate your employment and request a withdrawal of your accumulated contributions, the department will pay your ex-spouse his or her share when you receive your payment. If you terminate your employment and do not request a withdrawal of contributions, your ex-spouse will be unable to receive his or her share until you withdraw your accumulated contributions.
(c) If you die before retirement, the department will pay your ex-spouse his or her share of your accumulated contributions in a lump-sum payment.
(4) How will my account be affected if the department accepts the property division dissolution order after I retire?
(a) If included in the dissolution order, the department will begin paying your ex-spouse his or her portion of your monthly retirement allowance the first month after the department has accepted the order.
(b) If your ex-spouse dies before you, the portion of your monthly retirement allowance that was being paid to your ex-spouse will be paid to you.
(c) If you die before your ex-spouse, payments to your ex-spouse stop unless the department accepted the order at least thirty days before you retired and the order required the department to name your ex-spouse as a survivor beneficiary (if allowed by your retirement system and plan). See RCW 41.50.700(1) and 41.50.790.
(d) If you are a member of LEOFF Plan 1 or WSPRS Plan 1 and if one of the provisions in RCW 41.50.700(3) applies:
(i) Your ex-spouse may be eligible to receive payments for the life of your surviving spouse; or
(ii) If you are a member of LEOFF Plan 1, your ex-spouse may be eligible to receive payments for his or her lifetime.
(5) Is there a maximum payment amount that a property division dissolution order can award to my ex-spouse? Yes. See RCW 41.50.670(4) and WAC 415-02-500(10) for information.
(6) If the property division dissolution order directs the department to make payments to my ex-spouse, how will the payments be made? The department will make the required payments as specified in the dissolution order directly to your ex-spouse.
(7) How much is the fee the department charges for making payments directly to my ex-spouse? See RCW 41.50.680 and WAC 415-02-500(11) for information.
(8) What happens if I transfer to Plan 3 after the department has accepted my property division dissolution order or most recent amendment? See WAC 415-02-550 for information.
(9) Can I amend my existing order to remove my ex-spouse as my survivor beneficiary? Yes. To remove your ex-spouse as your survivor beneficiary, you must submit a "conformed copy" of the court order splitting your account. A conformed copy is a copy of the order that has been signed by the judge or commissioner on or after July 1, 2003, and filed with the court. Removing your ex-spouse as survivor beneficiary will change your retirement benefit. See WAC 415-02-520(9) for the language that must be used.
(10) Terms used:
(a) Department's acceptance - That the department's determination that a dissolution order fully complies with the department's requirements and with chapter 41.50 RCW.
(b) Dissolution order - RCW 41.50.500.
(c) Obligee - RCW 41.50.500(5).
(d) Obligor - RCW 41.50.500(6).
(e) Plan 3 - WAC 415-111-100.
(f) Vested - The status of a member who has the amount of service credit required by the member's system and plan for a service retirement when the age requirement is met.
Footnote to section:
1
When a court awards an interest in your retirement account, the department is required to pay a portion of your monthly retirement allowance or a portion of your contributions to your ex-spouse.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.50.670, 41.50.680, 41.50.790. WSR 06-18-009, § 415-02-510, filed 8/24/06, effective 9/24/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.50.500, [41.50.]670-[41.50.]710, [41.50.]790 and 2002 c 158. WSR 03-12-014, § 415-02-510, filed 5/27/03, effective 7/1/03.]
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