Military Retiree to FERS Retiree – How Credit for Military Service Affects a Former Spouse

Military retirees are permitted by OPM regulations to waive receipt of military retired pay in order to credit their military service towards a Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) annuity, subject to a few conditions.  How does this affect a former spouse receiving former spouse military retired pay?  It doesn’t.  One of the conditions protects a former spouse receiving military retired pay.

OPM regulations will not permit a retired servicemember to waive military retired pay for inclusion in calculating a FERS annuity unless the servicemember consents to OPM paying the former spouse from the FERS annuity an amount equal to the former spouse’s entitlement to military retired pay.  If the servicemember refuses to consent, OPM will not allow credit for military service.  It’s that simple.

The servicemember must both apply to DFAS for waiver and consent to OPM for payment to the former spouse.  Waiver of military retired pay commences the day prior the start the servicemember’s retirement from civil service and start of the FERS annuity. 

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firms also provides Wills and Estates and Probate services.