Members who are in the process of obtaining a divorce often request OPERS to calculate the present value of their retirement benefit. If the member does not have enough service credit to be eligible to elect a vested benefit, OPERS can only provide the amount of a member’s accumulated contributions. If the member does have enough service credit to be eligible to elect a vested benefit, OPERS cannot determine the present value of a member’s retirement benefit. However, OPERS will, upon request, provide:

  1. The information which an actuary will need to calculate the present value of the member’s retirement benefit; or
  2. The amount of monthly benefit the member would receive based on the member’s service to date and the date the member would be eligible to receive the benefit.

To make this request, members may complete the Divorce Benefit Valuation Request form. This information can be obtained from OPERS approximately 14 days after receipt of a written request. OPERS will not release this information to anyone, including the member’s attorney without the written consent of the member. This information will not be released over the telephone under any circumstances. Information contained in a member’s file may be obtained through subpoena or court order

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

Benefits under OPERS cannot be assigned or alienated. However, OPERS may comply with a state court order requiring benefit payments to a former spouse or “alternate payee” if the order meets the statutory criteria for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). (See 74 O.S. 95 Supp., § 923.) In order to be enforceable, the QDRO must be approved, accepted and on file with OPERS. Members are encouraged to have their attorney submit a draft of the QDRO to OPERS for approval prior to obtaining the final order.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) :

Beneficiary Designation

A divorce will void the designation of your spouse as your beneficiary. Once a divorce is final, complete a new Beneficiary Designation form, dated after the date of the divorce decree, designating a new beneficiary. You may choose to keep your former spouse as your beneficiary. You must, however, complete a new form dated after the date of the divorce decree, renaming your divorced spouse.

Joint Annuitant Designation

After a member’s effective date of retirement, the joint annuitant designation may not be changed. Thus a divorce after a member’s retirement will not alter nor affect the designation of a former spouse as a joint annuitant.
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