Texas Employee Retirement System (ERS) manages the benefits for employees, retirees, and their family members for various employers, universities, and colleges. If you go through a major life event like divorce, it’s important to update this system.
What are the qualifications?
Once your divorce is finalized, your former spouse will not receive benefits after that pay period. For example, if your divorce was finalized on the 5th of the month, but your pay period ends on the 15th, your former spouse would still have benefits until the 15th.
In order for this update to move forward, you need to provide documentation of your divorce within a month of the event. During this time, you can update other personal information, including your health insurance, spending accounts, contact information, and tax deductions. You can also remove your spouse from all of the plans preemptively.
What if the retirement plan needs to be split?
If your divorce requires that you share 401(k) or other retirement plans with your spouse as part of the separation agreement, there is a way for you to update that as well. You’ll need to provide the Texas government with a copy of your divorce and a decree of the Qualified Domestic Relations Order to be approved.
This might take some time to be approved and looked over. Generally, if you do not provide these forms, there’s no way for your plan to be split between yourself and a former spouse.
What if I’ve just gone through a divorce?
Many things need updated financially after going through a divorce. If you have concerns about naming a new beneficiary, updating your Texas ERS, or any sort of asset splitting, reach out to an attorney. A qualified divorce lawyer may be able to answer all of your questions regarding the divorce and your ERS plan.