20 CFR 295.4 - Review of documentation.

§ 295.4 Review of documentation.
(a) Regularity. The General Counsel or his or her designee shall review the court decree or property settlement to determine that it complies with both the law of the jurisdiction, and with Federal law and these regulations.
(b) Amount. Ambiguities in the amount to be paid the spouse or former spouse shall be resolved in accord with expressed indications of the court's intent, except that:
(1) Where the amount is expressed in terms of a dollar figure:
(i) If the figure exceeds the total benefits which may be allocated under this part, the excess will be disregarded, provided that any future increase in the benefits subject to this part will be prospectively applied to the excess effective with the date of the benefit increase.
(ii) If the figure is less than the total benefits which may be allocated under this part, only the amount specified will be paid.
(2) Where the amount is expressed as a fraction, percentage, or ratio:
(i) The amount specified shall be applied only against benefits subject to this part, irrespective of the wording of the decree or property settlement.
(ii) When the amount is expressed in terms of a fraction or ratio referring to the length of railroad service, years shall be converted into the equivalent months. If the length of railroad service specified in the decreee or property settlement exceeds the number of creditable service months used by the Board to determine the employee's years of service for calculating an annuity, the actual number used by the Board shall be substituted. If the decree understates the actual number of creditable railroad service months, the number of years or months set forth in the decree or property settlement will be used.
(3) An amount may be expressed in any other fashion only to the extent to which it may be readily ascertained from records maintained by the Board in the regular course of administration of the Act.
(4) Unless the order expressly provides otherwise, the Board will deduct the amount specified by the order from any annuity paid to the employee, whether the employee has retired based on age or on disability.
(c) Notification. The General Counsel or his or her designee shall make reasonable effort to notify the spouse or former spouse and the employee of a determination that the decree or property settlement does or does not qualify as a decree or property settlement which will be honored pursuant to this part. This notice will be mailed to the most recent address of each party or representative of each party as shown in the Board's records pertaining to the employee. A copy of the decree or property settlement will be provided to the employee with this notice. The notice must state:
(1) The rationale for a determination that the decree or property settlement does not comply with this part; or
(2) The dollar amount or proportion of benefits which will be paid to the spouse or former spouse.
(d) Withholding after notification.
(1) Where the General Counsel or his or her designee has notified the spouse or former spouse that a decree or property settlement will be honored under this part, but where the employee is not then entitled to any benefits subject to division under this part, the Director of Retirement Benefits will notate the Board's records to reflect both the amount of benefits awarded to the spouse or former spouse pursuant to the decree or property settlement and his or her current address. Where the employee is currently entitled to benefits subject to this part, and the spouse or former spouse has furnished all additional documentation required, the Director of Retirement Benefits will take action to withhold from the employee's monthly benefit the amount stated in the General Counsel's notice under paragraph (c) of this section that the Board will honor the decree or property settlement.
(2) Where the employee was not entitled to benefits subject to this part at the time of the notice by the General Counsel that the Board will honor the decree or property settlement, but the employee becomes so entitled at a later time, the Board will attempt to contact the spouse or former spouse at the most recent address shown in the Board's records pertaining to the employee. The notice will inform the spouse or former spouse that an annuity has been awarded, that the spouse or former spouse may, upon submission of all required documentation, receive a portion of the annuity, and that the spouse or former spouse should contact the Board within three months from the date of the notice. The Director of Retirement Benefits will initiate withholding of the amount awarded to the spouse or former spouse from the employee's monthly benefit, and will continue to withhold this amount for three successive months; provided, that an initial annuity payment for a retroactive period shall count as one monthly benefit payment. If after the third month's payment has been withheld the Board has received no response from the spouse or former spouse, the amount withheld from the employee's benefit shall be paid to the employee, and the Board take no further action regarding the decree until the spouse or former spouse contacts the Board.
(3) Benefits withheld from the employee may not be paid to a spouse or former spouse until the spouse or former spouse has furnished all supporting documentation required pursuant to § 295.3 of this part. The Board shall allow a reasonable time, not to exceed three months from the date of the initial response from the spouse or former spouse, for the submission of all required documentation. If the documentation is not furnished within the time allowed, payment of the amounts withheld shall be made to the employee.
(4) Any payments made to the employee subsequent to the three-month notice period specified in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, and prior to receipt of a response or required documentation from the spouse or former spouse, shall be considered properly paid to the employee and the Board shall have no further liability to the spouse or former spouse with respect to such amounts.
[51 FR 12845, Apr. 16, 1986, as amended at 73 FR 47046, Aug. 13, 2008]

Title 20 published on 2012-04-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

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