Survivor benefits — Dissolution orders.
(1) The department shall designate an obligee as a survivor beneficiary of a member under RCW 2.10.146, 41.26.460, 41.32.530, 41.32.785, 41.32.851, 41.35.220, 41.40.188, 41.40.660, 41.37.170, or 41.40.845 if the department has been served by registered or certified mail with a dissolution order as defined in RCW 41.50.500 at least thirty days prior to the member's retirement. The department's duty to comply with the dissolution order arises only if the order contains a provision that states in substantially the following form:
When . . . . . . (the obligor) applies for retirement the department shall designate . . . . . . (the obligee) as survivor beneficiary with a . . . . . . survivor benefit.
The survivor benefit designated in the dissolution order must be consistent with the survivor benefit options authorized by statute or administrative rule.
(2) The obligee's entitlement to a survivor benefit pursuant to a dissolution order filed with the department in compliance with subsection (1) of this section shall cease upon the death of the obligee.
(3)(a) A subsequent dissolution order may order the department to divide a survivor benefit between a survivor beneficiary and an alternate payee. In order to divide a survivor benefit between more than one payee, the dissolution order must:
(i) Be ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction following notice to the survivor beneficiary;
(ii) Contain a provision that complies with subsection (1) of this section designating the survivor beneficiary;
(iii) Contain a provision clearly identifying the alternate payee or payees; and
(iv) Specify the proportional division of the benefit between the survivor beneficiary and the alternate payee or payees.
(b) The department will calculate actuarial adjustment for the court-ordered survivor benefit based upon the life of the survivor beneficiary.
(c) If the survivor beneficiary dies, the department shall terminate the benefit. If the alternate payee predeceases the survivor beneficiary, all entitlement of the alternate payee to a benefit ceases and the entire benefit will revert to the survivor beneficiary.
(d) For purposes of this section, "survivor beneficiary" means:
(i) The obligee designated in the provision of dissolution filed in compliance with subsection (1) of this section; or
(ii) In the event of more than one dissolution order, the obligee named in the first decree of dissolution received by the department.
(e) For purposes of this section, "alternate payee" means a person, other than the survivor beneficiary, who is granted a percentage of a survivor benefit pursuant to a dissolution order.
(4) The department shall under no circumstances be held liable for not designating an obligee as a survivor beneficiary under subsection (1) of this section if the dissolution order or amendment thereto is not served on the department by registered or certified mail at least thirty days prior to the member's retirement.
(5) If a dissolution order directing designation of a survivor beneficiary has been previously filed with the department in compliance with this section, no additional obligation shall arise on the part of the department upon filing of a subsequent dissolution order unless the subsequent dissolution order:
(a) Specifically amends or supersedes the dissolution order already on file with the department; and
(b) Is filed with the department by registered or certified mail at least thirty days prior to the member's retirement.
(6) The department shall designate a court-ordered survivor beneficiary pursuant to a dissolution order filed with the department before June 6, 1996, only if the order:
(a) Specifically directs the member or department to make such selection;
(b) Specifies the survivor option to be selected; and
(c) The member retires after June 6, 1996.
[2004 c 242 § 52; 2002 c 26 § 8; 1998 c 341 § 514; 1996 c 175 § 1.]
| Effective date -- 2004 c 242: See RCW 41.37.901.|
Effective date -- 1998 c 341: See RCW 41.35.901.