Q & A Session – Court Order Allocating Retirement Benefit


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I am a CSRS employee and looking to retire next year. I am divorced and wanted to know how to find out if I have any court judgments filed against my federal retirement?


A court order can allocate a retirement benefit from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) as a result of a divorce.  The court order must expressly direct the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to pay a portion of the monthly CSRS or FERS benefits.

The OPM regulations covering garnishments can be found in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 581 and 582.

Inquiries about court order/garnishment of annuity for alimony or child support, apportionment of annuity awarded by a court, and court ordered survivor benefits should be made to OPM in writing at:

Office of Personnel Management
Court Order/Garnishment-Retirement
P.O. Box 17
Washington, DC 20044

Include your retirement claim number (if known), full name, date of birth and social security number.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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