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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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Ohio law allows a court to order you to elect a retirement plan providing for payment of a survivor benefit after your death to a former spouse.   [Read More...]

The order must be issued as part of your divorce proceedings, specify the amount of the survivor benefit, and be issued prior to the effective date of your retirement. If SERS receives a copy of the order, you must choose a payment plan that complies with the court order.

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