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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Divorce and Your Benefits


To protect the health of our members and employees, our Retirement System consultation offices are closed until further notice. While we are continuing to process mail, answer telephone calls and complete emails, the best course of action for customers who wish to submit documents and conduct business with us is through Retirement Online. All customers with previously scheduled appointments are being contacted and offered phone consultations. If you would like to schedule a phone consultation, or have retirement related questions, you can contact us at 1-866-805-0990 [518-474-7736 in the Albany Area] or email us using our secure contact form. We appreciate your patience during this time. If you become seriously ill as a result of the COVID-19 virus, please visit our Disability Benefits page for important information.

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.