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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Hi, I am a firefighter in CA...under CalPERS. I was divorced

Customer Question

Hi, I am a firefighter in CA...under CalPERS. I was divorced several years ago. My ex-wife received 9.5 years of my pension in a QDRO Model A under CalPERS. She elected to take her pension and is receiving it. I continue to work. At time of divorce I had about 28 years. I needed about 2 more years to attain maximum 90% retirement....3% @ 55 formula. After the pension was split into two separate accounts, my ex got about 28%... the 9.5 years. I reverted to about 51%. I am now up to about 60%. Can I continue to work to achieve the three percent per year it would take another ten years. CalPERS has told since I have a separate account, I me going to 90% would not take me over the maximum does it...just want to make sure I was told by CalPERS correctly. It would not be my 90 percent and my ex's 28 percent for a total of 118 percent..over the 90percent maximum? The QDRO used CalPERS Model A and two individual separate accounts were in for my ex at 28 percent drawing pension based on her attained 9.5 years and mine at the time 51 percent and 17 years. I hope I have not made this too complicated. Just want to make sure my pension is accruing toward 90% as I work the coming years.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.


I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.


Yes, you were informed correctly by CalPers.


You can continue to work to achieve the 90%, since your ex-wife's 28% was already deducted from your account, you will still be able to accrue 90%, although that will technically be 118 percent, your wife's distribution of amount will not count against the 90 percent maximum.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Joseph,

I received your reply to my question above and then sent a follow-up question. I did not hear back from you. I now see for some reason my question is listed as being asked twice. This one without my follow-up and another that says the follow-up is still awaiting experts reply. I see you are on line now, so I will paste in my follow-up here. Thanks for taking a look at get back. As I say in the follow-up, I will give you extra for your time and expertise. Thanks Joseph....follow-up follows......


Thanks Joseph for the reply. Can you let me know why the employer would go along with the Model A plan...I know they don't have much of a choice, but assuming the above and I continued to work and past the 90% maximum, why would the City be obligated to contribute their portion to my Calpers pension...I pay approximately 9%, the City pays the balance....past 30 years of employment.....3% x 30 years equals 90%. I know in good times when I retire they would hire and replace me and continue paying for the new member into CalPers, but what if when I retired I was not replaced after retiring at 30 plus years....then they would in effect be paying for me for maybe 39 years so I could get back to 90%, which would be about the 118%. Is that just the way it goes.


Lastly for now....why would an ex want to settle for Model B. Model B does not create two separate accounts. She would be entitled to her part of the community property pension percentage at the time of dissolution, but would not receive her pension until I retired. The maximum total percentage would be 90%. So once I achieved that figure, even though she would attain a percentage of the 90 when I retired, I could not gain additional percentage once I reached the maiximum 90%. I could continue to work perhaps attaining a higher final salary by promotion, or future raises but not attain more than the 90% less my ex wife's designated percentage. I guess possible reasons for taking Model B...she does not need the money now, she may hope in fact I do get promoted and make more and or get contract raises through the years. She would delay receiving her funds but would perhaps receive more in the long run. Of course from my point of view, even thought I would lose some of my 90% and would not regain even though I continued to work after reaching the 90%, I would continue to make my full salary, I may get promoted and or I would get contractual raises and she would not get anything under Model B until I did retire or die....thanks for sharing your thoughts on why an ex may take Model B over Model A and thanks for letting me know why the City is still obligated to pay into my CalPers pension fund with Model A even after I technically pass the 90% figure. I so appreciate your help. I will definitely pay you some extra for you time and knowledgeable response. By the way do you live, work in CA. Can you let me know how you attained your knowledge of CalPERS Model A and Moldel B. Thanks so much Joseph. Dan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Joseph, I appreciate your answer. I asked a follow up, but did not hear from you....the follow up is in the thread. I looked at my account and I saw my question was listed as being asked twice. I contacted Just Answer and they said they would take care of the mix up. They also said they would said you an email telling you of the situation and that I had a follow up. Perhaps you saw the question again and thought you had already answered. You did answer, but I have the follow up. Thanks for taking a look at the follow up and get back to me as soon as you can. I will definitely pay you extra for your time and expertise. Thanks Joseph. Dan

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

Hello Dan,


I opted out of your question so someone with more specific knowledge of CALPERS can assist you, since my knowledge is limited.


Please don't respond since it will delay the time before another expert can get to you.


You can request a refund if another expert is unwilling to assist you further.



Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I am a moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

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