The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued new regulations on how it will handle court-ordered divisions of retirement benefits of federal workers and retirees.

OPM says the ex-spouse must supply it with a copy of a state court order, decree or court-approved property settlement dealing with the present (or projected) retirement income of an employe or retiree. Those payments can also include retirement contribution refunds employes get when they leave government.

To request "apportionment" and establish the validity of the claim, the ex-spouse must send OPM: a copy of the court order; a statement that it has not been amended or set aside, and identifying data on the employe in question such as name, agency or former agency, retirement claim number, etc.

The employe or retiree whose pension benefits are involved will be notified by OPM and be given 30 days to contest the court order before the government makes any payment or division of a pension to a former spouse. This news is going to make half the people happy; half very unhappy.

Requests for apportionment of retirement income should be sent to: Office of Personnel Management, P.O. Box 17, Washington, D.C. 20044. o