July 01, 2013

Ten Commandments for Handling Military Retirement Benefits

Mark E. Sullivan and Amy M. Privette
  • Learn how to find and use the Attorney Instruction Guide.
  • Learn how disability compensation can reduce retired pay.
  • Can Survivor Benefit Plan pay be divided with a spouse?

Military retirement benefits are not handled in the same manner as private pension plans, which are governed by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act). Allocating and dividing military retirement benefits as part of a divorce case is not easy. The best advice is to find someone “in the know” who can help you and your client navigate the minefield of military pension division, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage, medical care before and after divorce, and other retirement benefits. Still, for those bold enough to take on the challenge, here are some tips to help you get started.

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