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08/10/2020 07:08 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31668
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 27, 2020 11:10 AM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
Subject: LEGISLATION: RESOLVE STATE & FEDERAL DISCREPANCY REGARDING DIVORCE EFFECTS WITH BENEFICIARY OF PENSION
 
I intend to introduce legislation that will resolve a discrepancy between Pennsylvania law and Federal law regarding the effect of a divorce on the beneficiary of a pension.  
 
Under Federal law, a divorce has no effect on the designation of the beneficiary of a pension.  But under Pennsylvania law, exactly the opposite takes place for those with governmental pensions.  If a couple divorces, then the former spouse is automatically removed as a pension beneficiary as a matter of law.  Many divorcing couples do not intend to change the beneficiary of their pension for various reasons i.e. in order to provide for their children with the former spouse, because the former spouse forewent other income-producing opportunities to support the pension-bearing spouse's career to name just one.  
 
But perhaps more importantly, many Pennsylvanians are not aware and do not intend to automatically revoke the designation of their former spouse.  To make the already complex laws regarding pensions and beneficiaries more understandable, I believe Pennsylvania and Federal law ought to match.  



Introduced as HB2446