Your retirement benefit from MPERS may be considered “marital property.” If you have been married at any time while an active member of MPERS and are considering a divorce, your spouse may be legally entitled to receive a portion of your retirement benefit. However, in order to divide your benefit, you must be eligible to ultimately receive a benefit without regard to future service (be vested) on the date of your divorce.
Section 104.312 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo), enacted August 28, 1994, permits the division of MPERS retirement benefits in the event of a divorce. This law allows MPERS to pay a portion of your pension benefit directly to your former spouse at the time you begin receiving payments from MPERS. Before MPERS can divide your benefit, a court of competent jurisdiction must issue a Division of Benefits Order (DBO). According to the law, the court may award your former spouse up to 50% of the benefit accrued during your marriage. The benefit for service accrued before the marriage and after the date of dissolution cannot be divided. No payment will be issued to your former spouse until you begin receiving retirement benefits from MPERS.