Once a divorce is finalized, you should submit the relevant signed court order including the divorce settlement agreement addressing UNJSPF benefits to the Fund as soon as possible. The Fund will then update your records accordingly. You or your legal representative(s) may contact the Fund’s Client Services Section in regard to divorce proceedings or any issues in the disposition of the UNJSPF pension benefits as part of the divorce settlement.
A divorced surviving spouse could be eligible for a divorced surviving spouse’s benefit if he/she fulfills the requirements in Article 35 bis(b). Furthermore, pursuant to Article 45 of the UNJSPF Regulations, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pension Fund has the discretion to remit a portion of a periodic pension benefit to a former or estranged spouse in order to fulfill a legal obligation on the part of a former participant or retiree (e.g. alimony or child support payment) arising from a marital or parental relationship and evidenced by an order of a court. For more information on these requirements or other questions about divorce, check out our comprehensive divorce page.
Updating in Case of Non-Traditional Unions
The Fund recognizes unions/partnerships lawfully entered into and legally recognized by the competent authority of the location where the status was established as long as the union confers similar legal effects as marriage, specifically including pension rights.
Marital status is updated the same way, irrespective of the nature of the marriage or relationship. You should report any change in personal status to your employing organization so your employing organization can then report all changes to the Fund. For more information on eligibility for spousal benefits and determining what kinds of unions recognized by the Fund, check out Article 34 and Article 35 of the Fund’s Regulations & Rules and Guidelines to determine eligibility for spousal benefits.
If you are getting married after separation from service, there is no eligibility for a widow(er) benefit unless you elect to purchase an annuity within one year of the marriage (Article 35 ter of the Fund’s Regulations). Such election will be effective 18 months after the date of your marriage. For more information about the option to purchase an annuity for a spouse you married after separation from service, please contact the Fund or check out our comprehensive booklet on Survivor’s Benefits.