How does social security and other retirement assets factor into federal retirement plans? This is an important consideration in divorce settlements.

Most pensions, 401(k) plans, etc. are in addition to social security.  They are not intended to replace social security. Employees covered by these plans earn social security credits.  When these plans are equitably distributed between spouses and the spouses are left with their statutory claim, or no claim, for social security no unfairness results.

Federal retirement plans and many state government plans are not intended to supplement social security. They are intended to provide a retirement income without social security. Both the employee deduction and employer contributions are higher, no social security taxes are paid and the federal and state employees do not earn social security credits.

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