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New York State and Local Retirement SystemOffice of the State Comptroller - Home

Divorce and Your Benefits

Overview

If you divorce, your retirement benefits could be affected. Retirement benefits are considered marital property and can be divided between you and your ex-spouse when the marriage ends.

  • Your ex-spouse may be entitled to a portion of your pension
  • You may be required to name your ex-spouse as beneficiary of any pre-retirement death benefit payable
  • You may be required to elect a retirement option that provides a continuing benefit to your ex-spouse in the event of your death
  • Your ex-spouse may be entitled to a portion of your Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Any division of your benefits must be stated in the form of a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) — a legal document that gives us specific instructions on how your benefits should be divided.

Please read our Guide to Domestic Relations Orders and review our DRO FAQs before you finalize your divorce.