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SERS Home  >  Members  >  Contributions  >  Refunds  >  Divorce

If you are subject to a court order to provide support for your spouse, former spouse, or children, the court can order SERS to withhold from your pension benefit payments.

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Regardless of the number of support orders that SERS receives or the total amount of support ordered to be paid, the total amount deducted from your pension cannot exceed 50% of your original payment amount.

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Your future benefit payments, including any PLOP amount, can be subject to an Ohio Division of Property Order (DOPO) that requires you to pay a portion of your pension to a former spouse for purposes of dividing your marital property.

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Your ex-spouse cannot receive payment until your payment begins, and payment must be in the same manner you receive (lump sum or monthly). Payment to your ex-spouse will cease when you stop receiving a payment. Regardless of the number of DOPOs SERS receives, the total amount deducted from your benefit cannot exceed 50% of your original benefit amount.

You should discuss these matters with your attorney if you find yourself going through a divorce.

Click here to download a Division of Property Order form.

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You may be required by a court order to select a retirement plan that provides a continuing benefit to your ex-spouse in the event of your death.

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This order must be issued as part of your divorce proceedings, provide for payment of a specified amount to your spouse, and be received by SERS prior to the effective date of your retirement. If this type of order is issued, you must select a payment plan that complies with the court order.

You should discuss these matters with your attorney if you are in the process of filing for a divorce. Please send SERS a copy of your court-ordered DOPO if your divorce decree requires it.

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If you choose Plan A, C, or D for a beneficiary, and your beneficiary dies before you do, your pension will be adjusted to the Single Life amount. If you choose Plan F for multiple beneficiaries, your pension will be adjusted if one or more of the beneficiaries dies before you do.

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This can be done only under a Plan A, C, D, or F option. There is no “Pop-Up” application to a Plan E payment, where time limits apply on benefits.

If you selected Plan A, C, D, or F for your spouse, and you later divorce, your marriage is annulled, or your marriage is dissolved, your plan may be adjusted only with the consent of your ex-spouse or by an order of the court.

If you marry or re-marry after retirement, you can re-select a joint survivor plan for your new spouse. This is called a “Pop-Down.” You have only one year from the date of your marriage to Pop-Down.

If you are married, you should discuss your payment plan choice with your spouse. Upon your death, benefits stop unless you selected a Joint Survivor Allowance -- Plans A, C, D, or F. Plan E benefits continue only for the duration of the guaranteed period.

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