Division of marital property (division during lifetime)

STRS Ohio provides retirement benefits for teachers and administrators employed by public schools, colleges and universities. It is created and governed by Chapter 3307, Revised Code, and consists of a Defined Benefit Plan, a Defined Contribution Plan and a Combined Plan. For more information about each plan, check out our Service Retirement and Plans of Payment brochures.

STRS Ohio is a tax-qualified governmental plan under 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and is not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Members of STRS Ohio do not participate in Social Security.

Ohio law provides that former spouses can receive a portion of a member’s benefits during the member’s lifetime. Members’ retirement benefits are also subject to income withholding orders for child support and spousal support.

STRS Ohio has developed court orders in fillable PDF format that can be used by the court. They are not required, but STRS Ohio strongly recommends that you use these fillable orders:

If you choose not to use the fillable orders, you may incorporate the language into your separation agreement or the court may use the language in its order.

Please make sure you submit your separation agreement with the order from the court about your divorce if you choose not to use the template orders.

Court-ordered benefits to be paid to former spouse after the benefit recipient’s death

The court may order you to name your former spouse as beneficiary when you apply for service retirement and also select a plan of payment that provides your former spouse a monthly benefit after your death. If you and your spouse divorce after you have retired and become a benefit recipient and you selected a Joint and Survivor plan of payment with reversion, the court may order that you can remove your former spouse as beneficiary and change your plan of payment to a Single Life Annuity. The court may also order that you cannot remove your former spouse as beneficiary or change your plan of payment.

If you have already retired and you selected a Joint and Survivor plan of payment that can revert to a Single Life Annuity plan of payment, you must submit a court order allowing you to remove your now former spouse as beneficiary and change your plan of payment. If you have already retired and you did not select a Joint and Survivor plan of payment that can revert, you cannot change your plan of payment.

If your former spouse will remain your beneficiary, you are not required to submit an order, but an order may be submitted if the court deems it necessary.


  1. What if I get married again?

    You can add your new spouse as a beneficiary within one year after your marriage. The amount to your former spouse cannot be reduced. The benefit for all beneficiaries cannot total more than 100% of your service retirement benefit.

  2. Will this order provide payments to my former spouse while I am living?

    No. A Division of Property Order must be issued for your former spouse to receive a portion of your retirement benefit during your lifetime.

This is a summary written in plain language for use by STRS Ohio members. It is not intended as a substitute for the Ohio Revised Code or the Ohio Administrative Code or for any state or federal law or regulation, nor will its interpretation prevail should a conflict arise between it and any law or regulation. More information may be obtained by contacting STRS Ohio toll free at 888-227-7877. This general information about STRS Ohio benefits and rights and divorce is provided to assist members and their attorneys and is not legal or tax advice.