This seminar is designed to assist you in better understanding government retirement plans at the state and federal level. You will learn the important provisions to include in your decrees and property settlement agreements based upon the type of plan you are handling. We will discuss common mistakes, incorrect assumptions and other unintended consequences of using certain language in a decree or failing to provide necessary language in a decree. The scope of the seminar will entail:
- A brief discussion addressing the main differences between private company retirement plans and government plans. In this section, we will discuss the two basic ways in which pension plans can be divided (shared interest or separate interest method for private plans and shared interest only for government plans). A comparison between state and federal plans regarding survivor benefits and its applicability at the time of divorce will also be addressed in this section.
- State Plans: We will review important features in the Arizona State Retirement System including different levels of survivor benefits, allocation of costs between the parties for the survivor benefit and issues surrounding a possible refund of contributions. We will also discuss issues that arise under the Public Safety Personal Retirement System especially relating to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). In this section we will take time to discuss “mature pensions” and Koelsch payments.
- Federal Plans: We will be reviewing the various features within military pensions, the Civil Service Retirement System, the Federal Employees Retirement System and Railroad Retirement Benefits. Specifically, we will look at the different language required in decrees for reserve or national guard and active military personnel. Availability of survivor benefits, cost allocation of survivor benefits and reversionary interests will be discussed for all the plans including tier 1 and tier 2 benefits for Railroad Retirement Benefits.
The material will contain model language (also in CD WORD format) for decrees and property settlement agreements with optional provisions depending upon the needs of your case. This model language entails provisions for both private and government plans although our focus will be on government plans for this seminar. It is our hope that this seminar and the utilization of the model language will reduce confusion about plans, result in more satisfied clients, and avoid the specter of malpractice claims.
Lunch is included for in-person and simulcast attendees.
Robert F. Harrian, The Harrian Law Firm, P.L.C.