U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Apr 23, 2024

§ 838.1010 - Court orders or decrees preventing payment of lump sums.

(a) Payment of the lump-sum credit to a former employee or Member will be subject to the terms of any court order or decree issued with respect to any former spouse or to any current spouse from whom the employee or Member was legally separated, if—

(1) The court order or decree expressly relates to any portion of the lump-sum credit involved; and

(2) Payment of the lump-sum credit would extinguish entitlement of the current or former spouse to a survivor annuity under section 8341(h) of title 5, United States Code, or to any portion of an annuity under section 8345(j) of title 5, United States Code.

(b) For paragraph (a) of this section to have effect, OPM must be in receipt of the court order or decree before authorizing payment of the refund.

(c)(1) In the event that OPM receives two or more court orders or decrees—

(i) When there are two former spouses, the court orders or decrees will be honored in the order in which they were issued until the lump-sum has been exhausted.

(ii) When there are two or more court orders or decrees relating to the same former spouse, the one issued last will be honored first.

(2) In no event will the amount paid out exceed the amount of the lump-sum credit.

(d) OPM is not liable for any payment made from money due from or payable by OPM to any individual pursuant to a court order or decree regular on its face, if such payment is made in accordance with this subpart.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, a court order or decree directed at a refund of retirement contributions is not effective unless the court order or decree and supporting documentation required by § 838.1005 are received by OPM not later than—

(1) The last day of the second month before payment of the refund; or

(2) Twenty days after OPM receives the Statement required by § 831.2007(c) of this chapter if the former spouse has indicated on that Statement that such an order exists.

(f) The interests of a former spouse with a court order or decree who does not receive notice of a refund application because the former employee or Member submits fraudulent proof of notification or fraudulent proof that the former spouse's whereabouts are unknown are protected if, and only if—

(1) The former spouse files the court order or decree with OPM no later than the last day of the second month before the payment of the refund; or

(2) The former spouse submits proof that—

(i) The evidence submitted by the employee was fraudulent; and

(ii) Absent the fraud, the former spouse would have been able to submit the necessary documentation required by § 838.1005 within the time limit prescribed in paragraph (e) of this section.

(g) Court orders, notices, summons, or other documents that attempt to restrain OPM from paying refunds of retirement contributions are not effective unless they meet all the requirements of—

(1) Paragraph (a) of this section, including the requirement that the court order or decree, or a prior court order or decree, has awarded the former spouse a former spouse annuity as defined in § 831.603 of this chapter or a portion of the employee's or Member's future annuity benefit; or

(2) Part 581 of this chapter.

[50 FR 20081, May 13, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 31937, Sept. 8, 1986; 55 FR 9106, Mar. 12, 1990. Redesignated and amended at 57 FR 33596, July 29, 1992]