Divorce and TSP

1

Q. I am about to divorce my husband, who works for the Federal Aviation Administration.

1. Can I keep his health insurance as an individual? Does this cost anything to him? How much will it cost me?

2. How can I be eligible for his life insurance after divorce?

3. Which is more beneficial: Getting a survivor benefit or getting a higher pension?

4. When can he start taking money from his Thrift Savings Plan?

A. You can’t withdraw money from his TSP account. Your divorce settlement will govern how the TSP is divided and distributed and you’ll likely wind up with your share in an IRA in your name. The usual rules for distributions will then apply.

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  1. For questions 1 and 2, I suggest she get her divorce attorney to include requests for these in the settlement. For Q.3, a survivor benefit annuity is always more financially advantageous to the recipient, in my opinion. I would also make sure the divorce attorney includes this in the settlement, and follows the required guidelines established by OPM for court-ordered benefits. See Hbk RI83-116 and pamphlet RI-84-1 which can be downloaded from http://www.opm.gov

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