Is a LAGERS monthly benefit divisible as marital assets?
Currently, there is no state statute addressing whether or not a LAGERS monthly benefit is divisible as a marital asset. That determination is made by the family court in each case.
Can an ex-spouse receive a monthly benefit directly from LAGERS?
Under applicable law including Missouri State Statute RSMo 70.695 and 434.301, a LAGERS accrued benefit is not subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, bankruptcy, or other process of law. This means that LAGERS is also not subject to Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO’s). If family court determines that the member’s LAGERS benefit is divisible as a marital asset, it is solely the member’s responsibility to forward the portion determined by the family court to his or her former spouse. The former spouse cannot begin receiving his or her portion until the member begins to draw his or her monthly benefit. In any case, LAGERS will only pay to a member. The only exception to this is that a member receiving an allowance is subject to child support deductions as ordered by a Court.
How is the value of a LAGERS benefit determined?
LAGERS benefits are not based on an account balance, rather, they are based on a member’s earned wages and the time they have worked for a LAGERS member employer. The amount the ex-spouse is eligible to receive is determined by family court and could be a dollar amount, percentage, or some other figure. LAGERS can provide a benefit estimate* and / or an annual benefit statement* upon request to assist in calculating the value of the member’s monthly benefit, but LAGERS does not provide present value calculations.
*A benefit estimate or benefit statement are only available for LAGERS members or via appropriate Court order.
What happens if I elect a spousal retirement payout option, and then I get a divorce?
When a LAGERS member elects a payout option for retirement, the payout option that is selected is irrevocable and cannot be changed. The spouse who is elected under Options A or B will always remain the beneficiary even if a divorce occurs. If the member retires, elects Option A or B, divorces, and re-marries, the previous spouse will still be the beneficiary under Option A or B.
What happens if I elect Option C and get divorced?
Unlike Option A or B, Option C allows the member (retiree) to change the beneficiary throughout retirement.
Do I need to submit any forms to LAGERS after the divorce is final?
LAGERS does not require that you submit any forms.
Do I need to update my beneficiaries after the divorce is final?
It is not a requirement to update your beneficiaries, but it is strongly recommended that you do. A LAGERS member can change their beneficiaries at any time by downloading the “Change of Beneficiary” form from the LAGERS website and sending it to the LAGERS office – Fax 573-636-9671 or mail 701 W. Main St. Jefferson City, MO 65102 or by using the myLAGERS web portal.
If you have further questions, please contact Senior Benefits Specialist, Tammy Burlbaw Phone: 573-632-6363 or Toll Free: 1-800-447-4334 Ext: 6363
The contents of this page are not intended to and should not be considered legal advice. This information does not amend or overrule any applicable statute or administrative rule. In the event of conflict, the applicable statute or administrative rule will prevail. If you have questions regarding your specific legal situation, please contact your personal legal counsel.