Support Orders

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 money from your pension payments.

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.


Division of Property Orders

Your pension payments, including any Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (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.

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 ceases when you stop receiving a payment. Regardless of the number of DOPOs SERS receives, the total amount deducted from your pension cannot exceed 50% of your original pension amount.

If you are going through a divorce, you should discuss these matters with your attorney.


Pop-Up/Pop-Down Features

If you chose 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. This is called a “Pop-Up.” If you chose Plan F for multiple beneficiaries, your pension will be adjusted if one or more of the beneficiaries dies before you do.

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 select a Joint Survivor Allowance – Plans A, C, D, or F. Plan E benefits continue only for the duration of the guaranteed period.