Military Retirement Benefits

The Willick Law Group has substantial experience dealing with military retirement benefits cases. Marshal Willick wrote the first textbook in this subject area, “Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce: A Lawyer’s Guide to Valuation and Distribution” for the American Bar Association in 1998, and has written articles and taught continuing legal education seminars on the subject for over 20 years.

The materials below, including a comprehensive article on division of military retirement benefits, a Survivor’s Benefit Plan cost-shifting calculator, and other links, and explanatory exhibits are intended to provide a resource for those interested in learning about this subject area.

Military cases involve unique and technical issues. The Willick Law Group often assists litigants and lawyers throughout the country, drafting orders, consulting, or providing expert witness testimony in military cases. We welcome calls or e-mails from litigants or attorneys who have need for more direct assistance with their cases.

From periodically – updated CLE materials:

Additional Military related articles and information:

  • 10 U.S.C. 1408 (Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act)
  • Thrift Savings Plan for Military Members
  • Military Retired Pay and the Dangers of “REDUX”
  • Disability Benefits and “Concurrent Receipt”
  • American Bar Association: Military Committee
  • Military Divorce MRBSBP Order Questionnaire for QDRO Masters
  • Military Pay Calculator (calculator for “RMC” — converts non-taxable elements of military compensation, such as BAH, or BAS, into their taxable equivalency for support, comparative household income, and similar calculations).
  • AAML Position Paper on 2001 Review of USFSPA
  • Military Retirement Benefits Teleclass Outline
  • Roll Call (Newsletter of the Military Committee, ABA Family Law Section: Vol. 2008-1, Summer, 2008, on use of the CHCBP as a long-term health care option for former military spouses).
  • Note About Carry-Over Health Coverage to Replace the SBP:
    • It may be good idea to remind folks that seek Indefinite CHCBP Coverage (i.e., beyond 36 months) that the “front line” Customer Service Reps at the CHCBP Administrators are NOT well briefed on the “indefinite CHCBP Coverage” issue for qualifying former spouses. Clients approaching that Threshold should ask to speak with a CHCBP Administrator Supervisor and usually they are better informed. What I’ve discovered happens as the Former Spouse approaches the 36 month threshold is that front line Customer Service Reps (and TRICARE Service Center Representatives) will tell callers that 36 months is the “max” they can get. Unless the Former Spouse perseveres and asked to speak with a Supervisor, they will just give up. The Supervisor will advise the Former Spouse to submit their CHCBP Application as usual, and attached a copy of their Divorce Decree, Settlement Agreement, DRO, MPDO, or whatever they have to show they are entitled to a portion of MRP and/or FS SBP coverage. They should also submit a letter stating why CHCBP coverage is the ONLY available coverage they have, and to formally/specifically ask for “Indefinite CHCBP Coverage.” That will usually do the trick.  Contributed by John Camp

Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce (1998)

A Lawyer’s Guide to Valuation and Distribution

by Marshal S. Willick Price: $25

Covers all aspects of cases with military benefits, showing you how to:

  • Value retirement plans and other service benefits
  • Obtain information and payment from military pay centers
  • Manage multi-state and international litigation
  • Handle survivorship benefits
  • Deal with jurisdiction traps
  • Obtain direct payment of benefits
  • Appeal adverse decisions

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