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Ask the Expert

On this page, I'll answer your questions and provide some nuggets of wisdom.

That Old Divorce Decree - Has OPM Accepted It in Writing?

Approaching retirement with a divorce decree in your rear view mirror that gives something to your former spouse?  You are going to have to attach a court-certified copy of the decree, all agreements mentioned in the decree, and any COAP or QDRO orders to your retirement application....unless your former spouse has passed away.  No problem if you and/or your attorney sent a court-certified copy in to the OPM Court Orders Branch in DC and you already received a letter back saying they have accepted the decree and how they are interpreting your pension will be split and, if survivor benefits are ordered, are they the maximum or a partial as well as who will pay for them.

To avoid a surprise after retirement, be sure you have sent in your decree and orders to OPM for acceptance right after the ink is dry or no later than a year before your retirement, as approval can take 4-6 months.  This way, if it didn't come out the way you thought it would or there is a fatal error that will send you back to court for a rewrite, you have time to get it fixed without having to delay your retirement.  Ann will be happy to take a quick no charge look at your decree. 

BTW, if your spouse remarries before age 55, the only thing the spouse forfeits is the suvivor benefit - you still get to pay them the portion of your retirement that was awarded by the court years ago.  Unless your decree has the proper wording, OPM will use your high 3 at retirement to compute the share...........

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TSP L Fund Changes for 2020

In August 2020, the L2020 Fund will disappear and morph into the L Income Fund and a new TSP L2060 will be born.  In addition in 2020, the TSP will be starting L funds ending in the mid years, i.e. L2025, L2035, L2045, and L2055.  If you were in the L2020 and want to be a little more aggressive than the L Income, take a look at the L2025 as moving to the L 2030 is a lot more aggressive that you have been in the L2020. If you have not been checking lately, the L Income Fund has dropped slightly the portion in the G fund.

To get the latest news from TSP delivered right to your inbox, go to the lower left part of the TSP home page after login and sign up for Announcements and Notifications. Also, when you log into your TSP, notice that there is a "Bulletin Board" on the upper RIGHT with a listing of all the latest bulletins.

 

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Changes at the TSP - Since September 15, 2019

The TSP Modernization Act was finally implemented on September 15th, 2019. Now employees over 59.5 years of age and retirees can have more than one partial withdrawal in a lifetime, can opt for monthly, quarterly and or annual payments, can change payment amount for monthly payments more frequemtly than once a year, and can specify the percentage of Roth or traditional TSP that comes out in a withdrawal or series of payments.

All withdrawal forms dated before September 2019 are obsolete and most forms are originated online within TSP.

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2019.12.01 | 2012.09.01

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Personnel Solutions Federal Benefits Counseling
3403 S Tekoa St, Spokane, WA 99203
Phone: (509) 993-2283 Fax: (509) 651-1946