The former spouse of a member of the military does not lose her share of her military pension if he remarries – instead, the Former Spouse Protection Act of the United Services requires that, if she starts receiving benefits under the Survivor Benefits Plan after the death of her ex-spouse, she would lose those rights if she remarried before his 55th birthday.
Laws protecting ex-spouses
According to the USFSPA, the ex-spouse of a serviceman is eligible to claim part of the ex-spouse’s retirement benefits provided that the marriage meets certain requirements. Military members must have a minimum of 20 years of service in the military; marriage coincides with the duration of military service of 20 years or more; The marriage lasts at least 20 years.
These ex-spouses can claim part of their retirement benefits and enjoy Tricare health care benefits and full facility exchange perks and commission perks.
An ex-spouse who does not meet the 20/20/20 rule but whose marriage overlaps with military service for up to 15 years is entitled to full military benefits for up to one year after completing the divorce. She can purchase a convertible health insurance policy negotiated by DOD. To remain eligible for full coverage, she cannot remarry or participate in a health insurance plan offered by her employer.
Remarriage and retirement benefits
If a spouse in the military remarries, she does not lose her share of her retirement benefits on remarriage. Under divorce law, retirement benefits are considered “the division of the assets of marriage,” which should be mentioned in divorce proceedings.
If her former spouse dies and she is covered in the Survivor’s Welfare Program under the “ex-spouse” plan, she will lose her benefits if she remarries before the age of 55; if the marriage ends in divorce or death, then the benefits of the SBP will continue.
Basis for reasoning for Retirement Benefits for Ex-Spouses
The USFSPA is issued because military spouses have unusual difficulty establishing and maintaining careers separate from their service spouses; Because they are required to change the station permanently as often as every two years, it is difficult to build history with an employer. Military spouses also lose the ability to accumulate money in their own retirement accounts. If the couple decides to divorce, the non-military spouse may be left with a meager income, if any, since she has moved with her military spouse from one conscript station to another.
Her ability to maintain currently in the field of her career, not to mention the maintenance of her professional skills, is negatively affected by the moves required by the military. Another noteworthy point is that the former spouse has helped her military partner – taking care of children and houses, participating in the functions of the unit and representing her spouse at dinner parties, official events and unit events of the spouses. If her spouse is dispatched to a war zone, she is fully responsible for her home and children.
Ex-spouse’s eligibility status
Former spouses in the military are not naturally eligible for retirement benefits, death benefits, health insurance, proxies or post-exchange benefits. The USFSPA directs states to treat military pensions the same way they treat civilian retirement plans. This allows for the division of pensions in the military as an asset settlement. As required by the USFSPA, the former spouse is eligible when she has been married to a military member for at least 10 years, during which time that member has been in the military for at least 10 years.