Starting in 2016, an OPM rule change allowed the divorced spouses of federal retirees to claim a portion of their annuity supplement. Now, after having a quorum for the first time in five years, the MSPB has stepped in to address the rule.
Often when a federal employee divorces, a portion of their FERS retirement is awarded to the former spouse at the time of the employee’s retirement. OPM will honor the terms of a “Court Order Acceptable for Processing,” or COAP, that is written according to the language specified in the Handbook for Attorneys. The Handbook and the law that governs federal employee divorce issues were called into question in 2016 regarding the division of the SRS. Originally, unless the court order specifically mentioned the SRS, it wasn’t subject to division in the court order. However, that changed in 2016. Now, in 2023, it has changed again.