U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 20, 2023
(a) Employee actions. (1) If the employee is subject to a qualifying court order, the employee must submit to the employing office a completed -
(i) SF 3110, Former Spouse's Consent to FERS Election, to document the former spouse's consent to the FERS coverage; or
(ii) SF 3111, Request for Waiver, Extension, or Search, to request a waiver of the former spouse consent requirement or to request an extension of the time limit for obtaining a former spouse's consent or amendment of the court order.
(2) If the employee states on the SF 3109, the FERS Election of Coverage form, that he or she does not know whether he or she is subject to a qualifying court order, the employee must submit to the employing office a completed SF 3111, Request for Waiver, Extension, or Search, to request OPM to determine whether it has a qualifying court order relating to the employee.
(b) OPM actions - (1) Waiver of former spouse consent requirement - (i) Grounds for waiver. OPM's authority to approve a waiver of the former spouse consent requirement is limited to cases in which the former spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined or exceptional circumstances make requiring the former spouse's consent inappropriate.
(ii) Whereabouts cannot be determined. OPM will waive the former spouse consent requirement upon a showing that the former spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined. A request for waiver on this basis must be accompanied by -
(A) A judicial or administrative determination that the former spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined; or
(B)(1) Affidavits by the employee and two other persons, at least one of whom is not related to the employee, attesting to the inability to locate the former spouse and stating the efforts made to locate the spouse; and
(2) Documentary corroboration such as newspaper reports about the former spouse's disappearance.
(iii) Exceptional circumstances. OPM will waive the former spouse consent requirement based on exceptional circumstances if the employee presents a judicial determination finding that -
(A) The case before the court involves a Federal employee who is in the process of electing FERS coverage and the former spouse of that employee;
(B) The former spouse has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard concerning this proceeding;
(C) The court has considered sections 301 and 302 of the FERS Act, Pub. L. 99-335, 100 Stat. 517, and this section as they relate to waiver of the former spouse consent requirement for an employee with a former spouse to elect FERS coverage; and
(D) The court finds that exceptional circumstances exist justifying waiver of the former spouse's consent.
(iv) Approval of a waiver. If OPM 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.
(2) Extension of the time limit to obtain a former spouse's consent - (i) First request. If an employee who is ineligible to elect FERS coverage solely because of a qualifying court order files, prior to January 1, 1999, a completed SF 3111, Request for Waiver, Extension or Search, requesting an extension of the time limit to seek an amendment of a qualifying court order, OPM is deemed to have approved the extension through June 30, 1999.
(ii) Second request. OPM will grant one extension of the time limit to seek an amendment of a qualifying court order to an individual who has been granted an extension under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section if the individual -
(A) Files an application for the extension (SF 3109) with the employing office before July 1, 1999;
(B) Has initiated legal proceedings to secure the modification of the qualifying court order on file at OPM to satisfy the former spouse consent requirement;
(C) Demonstrates to OPM's satisfaction that the individual has exercised due diligence in seeking to obtain the modification; and
(D) If seeking an extension beyond December 31, 1999, demonstrates to OPM's satisfaction that a longer extension is necessary.
(iii) Expiration date of a second extension. An approved extension under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section expires on December 31, 1999, unless OPM's decision letter states a later expiration date.
(3) Search for a qualifying court order. (i) When an employing office notifies OPM that it has received an employee's request for a determination of whether OPM has a qualifying court order on file, OPM will determine whether it has such an order.
(ii) If OPM does not have a copy of a qualifying court order in its possession, OPM's notice to the employing office that it has no qualifying court order completes the employee's election of FERS coverage and the election becomes effective at the beginning of the first pay period after the employing office receives OPM's notification.
(iii) If OPM has a copy of a qualifying court order, OPM will notify both the individual and the employing office that it has a qualifying court order and that an extension until June 30, 1999, has been granted.