Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Jim in Oswego wants to know why a spouse is entitled to half of a private pension, but that’s not the case for State employees. We’ve got the ‘Real Deal’ from the Office of the State Comptroller.
In 1984, Congress passed the Retirement Equity Act (REA). It requires most private plans to provide a retirement benefit – as a joint and survivor annuity – unless the employee’s spouse specifically gives up all rights by signing a waiver.
The REA, however, doesn’t apply to public plans and in nearly three decades, New York State hasn’t enacted comparable provisions for public plans.
The Comptroller’s Office says the State has several options for a retiring employee to provide for a spouse, but the decision to do so is solely that of the employee.