State Retirement Options

I am a state employee. According to NC GS 50-20.1(f), do I have to pick a retirement option that makes my ex wife the beneficiary if I die since she will be getting a portion of my state retirement pay? There are several options for retirement plans. They range from me getting the full amount with no beneficicary if I die, to my benficiary receiving xx amount of money if I die if I take a reduced payment. Does the above GS mean that I MUST elect a reduced payment retirement option and make my ex wife the beneficary? What if I remarry? My new spouse would get nothing. I can only elect one beneficiary for this plan. What if I wanted the full amount; would I be forced to elect the reduced plan because of this statue?


It depends on what you and your spouse agree to in a Separation Agreement, or what a judge orders as part of a ruling on Equitable Distribution.

Her lawyer is saying that the law requires me to select the option that requires the maximum reduction of my pension and the most money for the beneficiary. Also, he says the law means I have to make her the beneficiary.

The fact that that opinion is coming from “her lawyer” should tell you something… I’m just sayin’… Get your own attorney, her attorney is going to be looking out for her, not you.

Here’s my take…please note, I am not a lawyer…

If your agreement says that she gets, for example, 25% of your retirement PAY, then I say go for the full amount, let her have 25% of that full amount you get each month, and when you die, she gets nothing. I don’t see any reason for you to go with even less (and you know she’ll have her hand in your pocket for her % of that monthly amount too) and then she also gets a lump-sum payout? That makes no sense to me.

If you have no agreement as yet, I would not agree to taking a lesser retirement pay so that she can have more money when you die. That’s ridiculous.

However, if you signed an agreement stating that you would somehow provide for her after your death via your state pension/retirement plan, then you may have to do that other option…it just makes no sense to me…% of your retirement pay should be just that, a % of the pay you take home when you retire. If she wants a payday when you die, tell her to buy a life insurance policy on you. :slight_smile:

No, the statue does not require you to elect the lesser portion for yourself.