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Thread: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I'll say this...there are times when division of pensions is fair..and there are times that it isn't fair. If you'd agree with that, then you must agree with this...any law prohbiting division of the pension would be unfair...and any law requiring division would likewise be unfair.

    All the law SHOULD do...is allow judges to judge what makes sense in each case...and that is all the USFSPA, by itself, does. Now, before you go on to your "hand in glove with state laws" rant....if a state passes a law that subsequently treates military retirement unfairly because of the permission it was granted in USFSPA...that is a problem with the state law, not the USFSPA.
    You continue to ignore the fact that the vast majority of state courts simply do not have the foggiest clue on the subtleties of the differences in the pensions and simply lump them into the community property pot and be done with it. The law is vague, I believe it was purposely written and has been kept that way (my opinion)
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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    You continue to ignore the fact that the vast majority of state courts simply do not have the foggiest clue on the subtleties of the differences in the pensions and simply lump them into the community property pot and be done with it. The law is vague, I believe it was purposely written and has been kept that way (my opinion)
    Given the variety of state laws and situations, I have no doubt it was purposely written to be vague.

    The Federal government should not be dictating to the states how to handle divorces...

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    Can you give me an example of a non-contributary pension plan where not one dollar of earned income, either directly (wages) or indirectly (union dues) is not paid into the fund? Aside from the US military that is.
    The Teamsters retirement that my employees are under...is paid by the employer, not the employee. Though, you might consider that an "earned income" even though that money is not paid to the employee and the employee does not have the option to disenroll and get that pay instead...employees pay their own union dues which do not go into the pension fund, but into the union general fund. They can't really opt out of the union either except to opt out of the portion of their dues that go to political contributions.

    While falling out of fashion, there are still many "defined-benefit plans" out there...many of which give you X amount of monthly pension for X years worked...and you'll continue to draw that if you live to 200. Certainly there is usually some sort of "fund" associated with the plans, but it's often not an individual fund...when a court issues a QDRO to figure the value of that pension, they use the entitlement earned, the age at which you'll begin drawing it, and standard life expectancies to determine the approximate value of the pension at the time of divorce

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Given the variety of state laws and situations, I have no doubt it was purposely written to be vague.

    The Federal government should not be dictating to the states how to handle divorces...
    And while i can see why they did that, it is ALSO the biggest reason things get so hammed against service members...

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Given the variety of state laws and situations, I have no doubt it was purposely written to be vague.

    The Federal government should not be dictating to the states how to handle divorces...
    And exactly how does the USFSPA NOT do exactly that ?!?!?!?!
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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    The Teamsters retirement that my employees are under...is paid by the employer, not the employee. Though, you might consider that an "earned income" even though that money is not paid to the employee and the employee does not have the option to disenroll and get that pay instead...employees pay their own union dues which do not go into the pension fund, but into the union general fund. They can't really opt out of the union either except to opt out of the portion of their dues that go to political contributions.

    While falling out of fashion, there are still many "defined-benefit plans" out there...many of which give you X amount of monthly pension for X years worked...and you'll continue to draw that if you live to 200. Certainly there is usually some sort of "fund" associated with the plans, but it's often not an individual fund...when a court issues a QDRO to figure the value of that pension, they use the entitlement earned, the age at which you'll begin drawing it, and standard life expectancies to determine the approximate value of the pension at the time of divorce
    Interesting look at accounting there. Of course the union dues pay for the pension fund! Along with all other operating costs of the union as well. It is funded by wages of union members and the employee does still have a choice (as of today anyway) on whether to join the union and therefore have a portion of his WAGES go to the union.

    Not quite, do you have another 'example' of a retirement plan just like the Military Retired Pay system?

    You hinted at facts on the ground now as well. Many (and I would guess soon to be most, mine included) are doing away with traditional pension plans all together in favor of 401K plans etc. Bottom line is STILL that wages from the employee will at least partially fund whatever money the employee will receive upon retirement. No arguement that wages are community property.
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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Now, before you go on to your "hand in glove with state laws" rant.....
    That's my favorite rant... :whoo

    I will agree that the vast majority of the problem is with the state divorce laws. If the state divorce laws could be changed so that pensions are no longer considered to be marital property or community property, then USFSPA would be neutered. Housewives would never agree to such a change to the divorce laws for obvious reasons. Of course, the number of housewives in our society has been on a continual decline. The number of women entering the job market continues to increase and the number of women who earn more than their husbands also continue to increase. I think it is a fair guess to say that those women who earn more than their husbands probably have no love for the legal concepts of marital property and community property. As soon as the number of women who earn more than their husbands reach a certain critical mass, we'll probably start quickly seeing some changes in the state divorce laws regarding marital property and community property.

    Even though the majority of the problem is with the state divorce laws and pressure needs to be applied to the state legislatures to modify the divorce laws, it is still appropriate to lobby Congress for changes to the many inequities in USFSPA.

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    And exactly how does the USFSPA NOT do exactly that ?!?!?!?!
    ...because the USFSPA doesn't MANDATE the states to do ANYTHING...

    If you could convince your state to lay off military retirement...they are free to do that
    If you could convince your state to include military retirement...they are likewise free to do that.

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    Interesting look at accounting there. Of course the union dues pay for the pension fund! Along with all other operating costs of the union as well. It is funded by wages of union members and the employee does still have a choice (as of today anyway) on whether to join the union and therefore have a portion of his WAGES go to the union.
    You are incorrect...at least with this union here, others may vary. The dues do NOT pay the pension fund.

    For every hour an employee works, the company pays $X.XX into the pension fund...that is the ONLY money in the pension fund. The employee does NOT have the option to have that money paid to them instead of the pension fund.

    Not quite, do you have another 'example' of a retirement plan just like the Military Retired Pay system?
    I don't know of any that are "just like" military retired pay system...I don't think I claimed there were others that were "just like"....the claim, which still stands...is that there are other similar pensions, some contributory, some non-contributory that are also divisible in divorce courts.

    The idea that military members are uniquely screwed in divorce through the division of their retirement as maritial property is wholly inaccurate. Can you name any other retirement plan or fund that is not divisible in divorce?

    If USFSPA were completely thrown out...military spouses would be unique as the only spouses who were NOT entitled to a spouses pension.

    You hinted at facts on the ground now as well. Many (and I would guess soon to be most, mine included) are doing away with traditional pension plans all together in favor of 401K plans etc. Bottom line is STILL that wages from the employee will at least partially fund whatever money the employee will receive upon retirement. No arguement that wages are community property.
    ...don't be surprised to see military retirement go that way also...the current system is just too costly for the Defense budget.

    Bottom line is STILL that your military retirement is part of the compensation you earn while serving...if you are married during that time, it is a marital asset.

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    Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    That's my favorite rant... :whoo

    I will agree that the vast majority of the problem is with the state divorce laws. If the state divorce laws could be changed so that pensions are no longer considered to be marital property or community property, then USFSPA would be neutered. Housewives would never agree to such a change to the divorce laws for obvious reasons. Of course, the number of housewives in our society has been on a continual decline. The number of women entering the job market continues to increase and the number of women who earn more than their husbands also continue to increase. I think it is a fair guess to say that those women who earn more than their husbands probably have no love for the legal concepts of marital property and community property. As soon as the number of women who earn more than their husbands reach a certain critical mass, we'll probably start quickly seeing some changes in the state divorce laws regarding marital property and community property.
    I agree that this would be nice.

    Even though the majority of the problem is with the state divorce laws and pressure needs to be applied to the state legislatures to modify the divorce laws, it is still appropriate to lobby Congress for changes to the many inequities in USFSPA.
    ...there are, I beleive some ways the USFSPA could be made better...but until we arrive at your utopian plan of never dividing any monies in divorce because each person is their own wage earner...I think the CONCEPT that military retirement is just as divisible as a retirement account should stand.

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