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Splitting 401K and FERS
Old 06-15-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Splitting 401K and FERS

Hello all,
A friend of mine is filing for divorce. Of concern is a 401K and FERS retirement plan.
Does anyone know how to split a 401k? Is it 1/2 the employee contributions and earnings over the length of the marriage? Does it include agency matching? What about roll overs into the 401K?
Same for a FERS estimate?
Obviously, my friend has consulted an attorney. But my friend would like to try some back of the envelope figuring in hopes of working out a settlement with partner.
We have both GOOGLED and have not found anything specific enough. State of NH (seperate property state).
Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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Since I do the work on our small company 401(k).... and I just got an order...

it is up to the court... he needs to look up QDRO.

The one I am doing is a 50 - 50 split... she gets half of everything, he gets half...

Simple...
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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I got divorced 10 years ago. For my TSP account, we did a QDRO that gave my ex-husband half of what we contributed and 1/2 the earnings over the life of our 3 year marriage (because we weren't contributing to his plan at the time). I paid him that amount in cash, and he has no further claims on my TSP. Since we were so young, I didn't give him any future claim to my FERS pension (actually, specifically spelled out that he wasn't entitled to any).

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
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Yikes. It really *is* cheaper to keep her... good thing I'm still madly in love with her.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:38 PM   #5
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I wonder if my friend should stop contributing to the TSP during the process. Dang.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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Well, we started with a separation agreement that basically separated our financial doings as of the date of separation, so any contributions/earnings made after that, we kept for ourselves. It depends on if your friend's spouse would be willing to do that. The QDRO won't be effective until the divorce decree is finalized.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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A QDRO is right. Each 401(k) administrator has their own quirky rules for how a QDRO is written, so I'd advise to consult with them to ensure that you don't pay an attorney to write and rewrite it. In fact, some attorneys specialize in writing QDROs and it might pay to seek one out, as it is easy to make a very expensive mistake, especially with the pension portion.
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