U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 20, 2023
(a) An election under § 846.102 of this part may not become effective unless the election is made with the written consent of any former spouse(s) entitled to benefits under subpart F of part 831 of this chapter or part 838 of this chapter. As provided in section 301(d)(2)(A) of the FERS Act of 1986, this section applies only if OPM has been duly notified concerning any qualifying court order and has received the documentation required in § 838.211, § 838.721, or § 838.1005 of this chapter. This section does not apply with respect to a former spouse who has ceased to be so entitled because of remarrying before age 55.
(b) OPM may waive the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section upon a showing that the former spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined. A request for waiver on this basis must be accompanied by -
(1) A judicial or administrative determination that the former spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined; or
(2)(i) Affidavits by the employee or Member and two other persons, at least one of whom is not related to the employee or Member, attesting to the inability to locate the former spouse and stating the efforts made to locate the spouse; and
(ii) Documentary corroboration such as newspaper reports about the former spouse's disappearance.
(c) OPM may waive the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section based on exceptional circumstances if the employee or Member presents a judicial determination regarding the former spouse that would warrant waiver of the consent requirement based on exceptional circumstances.
(d)(1) OPM shall, upon application of an individual, grant an extension for such individual to make an election under § 846.201 of this part, if the individual -
(i) Files an application for the extension with OPM before the end of the period during which the individual would otherwise be eligible to make the election; and
(ii) Demonstrates to OPM's satisfaction that the extension is needed to secure the modification of a decree of divorce or annulment (or court ordered or court-approved property settlement incident to any such decree) on file at OPM in order to satisfy the consent requirement under paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) The application for extension is deemed to be filed with OPM on the date it is received in the employing office.
(3) An extension granted under this paragraph expires 6 months after the date it was granted. OPM may grant one further extension upon application by the individual seeking to make an election of FERS coverage.
(e) An electing individual who has a former spouse who may be entitled to benefits as described in paragraph (a) of this section must submit with the election either -
(1) The consent of the former spouse in a form prescribed by OPM,
(2) A request for an extension as described in paragraph (f) of this section,
(3) A request for a waiver of the consent requirement and the documentation to support the request as described in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section, or
(4) A request for a determination as to whether a qualifying court order as described in paragraph (a) of this section is on file with OPM.
(f) The request for waiver or extension described in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section must be in a form prescribed by OPM. The employing office must forward the request to OPM promptly.
(g) If OPM does not have a copy of a qualifying court order in its possession, OPM's notice to the agency that it has no qualifying court order is deemed to complete the individual's election of FERS, which becomes effective with the first pay period after the employing office receives OPM's notification.
(h) If OPM has a copy of a qualifying court order, OPM will notify both the individual and the employing agency of its determination regarding a request for extension.
(i) If OPM has a copy of a qualifying court order in its possession and grants a waiver of the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section, OPM will notify both the individual and the employing office of its decision. OPM's notice to the employing office is deemed to complete the individual's election, which becomes effective with the first pay period after the employing office receives OPM's notice that the waiver is granted.