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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 14293
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Can you tell me if the 25% of income calculation at 18 years

Customer Question

Can you tell me if the 25% of income calculation at 18 years service would be considered an early retirement penalty for the sale of calculation of a former spouse's MRO?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to helpAlso, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen. I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. What is it you are trying to accomplish?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am representing the former spouse, whose husband was in the military for eighteen years while the two were married. The final judgment grants my client half of his military pension, "based on his level of earnings, as of June 1, 2011." As of that date, the former husband had only been in the military for 18 years. If he had to retire at that point, he would only have received 25% of his base pay, whereas at 20 years he would receive 50% of his base pay, since 20 years is the normal retirement age. Would the 25% be considered an early retirement penalty, since at normal retirement, the retiree gets 50% of base pay?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is in the State of Florida, which may come into play in your decision.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
I think you are, perhaps, operating on some invalid assumptions. Specifically, the assumption that one can retire at 18 years. This is not, typically, the case... And since this is not typically the case, I am not certain that a court would (or at least should) accept the premise. Are you an attorney?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I am an attorney - And I am not assuming that anyone can retire at 18 years. My issue is the valuation of the pension. Please re-read my question. It asks specifically if the valuation of 25% at 18 years is an "early retirement penalty."
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
But where are you coming up with the 18 year rule....the member did not retire at 18, correct?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
That is, why are you assuming a discount when the member did not retire early (as I mention, that is not a common occurrence)...in fact it is quite rare...
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Are you assuming you can make this discount because the marriage was only 18 years? Despite the fact the military will not impose this discount?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Also, I sent the offer for a phone call...are you unwilling to speak on the phone?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No - it is the wording in the final judgment of divorce, that states that the "wife's entitlement to the husband's share will be based upon his earnings as of [a certain date]. On this date, he only had 18 years in the military. We are not disputing his base pay for that date, but are disputing the 25% of his base pay, rather than the 50%, which he would receive at normal retirement of 20 years. Opposing counsel wants to use the 25%. The military ex spouse did retire after 20 years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not want to pay another $10 to speak to you on the phone, and would prefer this to be in writing anyway. Thank you. Do you want me to send a copy of the final judgment. I am attaching a copy of the MRO calculations, and my revised suggestion.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanksi have sent the offer for a phone call. Are you willing to talk on the phone?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
I will let someone else assist you if you are not willing to talk on the phone. I wish you the best
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please refer this to someone who is knowledgeable with Military Retirement Orders, ideally from the State of Florida. Thank you.