My ex-husband is a cop. When can I get my part of his pension?

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Q. I divorced 20 years ago. The divorce agreement said I would get half of my husband’s pension earned during the 13 years we were married. I moved out-of-state. How do I find out how much I should get? I don’t even know if he retired yet. He’s a police officer in New Jersey.

— Ex-wife

A. There are several things to consider here.

The pension system for police officers in New Jersey is the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, known as the PFRS.

The qualifications depend upon your ex-husband’s age and years/months of service that give him credit in the system, said Jodi D’Agostini, a certified financial planner with Equitable Advisors/The Falcon Financial Group in Morristown.

Retirement is mandatory if he has reached the age of 65, she said, noting the amount of the pension depends largely on his last 12 months of compensation.

“If the marital settlement agreement states, and a QDRO — Qualified Domestic Relations Order — was executed, you should be able to begin taking your monthly retirement allowance upon your ex-spouse’s retirement,” she said.

This disbursement will be sent directly to you from the New Jersey Division of Pensions & Benefits. You can contact them directly at (609) 292-0295 to inquire as to the status.

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This story was originally published on Feb. 15, 2021.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.

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