Railroad Retirement benefits are partially marital property subject to division in Missouri divorce

Recent case: Tier II railroad retirement benefits are marital property

Husband appeals the circuit Court’s judgment dissolving his marriage to Wife. Husband contends that, among other things, that the Court misapplied the law in classifying as marital property and awarding almost $20,000 to Wife, which represented Husband’s contribution to his railroad retirement pension during the marriage. Husband argues that federal law prohibits the division of retirement pension. The Court disagreed and affirmed the division by the trial Court.

The Federal Railroad Retirement act treats railroad pension partly as social security (Tier I) and partly as a private pension( Tier II). Federal law does not prohibit treatment of certain pension benefits payable based upon employment in the railroad industry, including Tier II benefits, as marital property. However, The Supreme Court’s conclusion that Tier I benefits may not be treated as marital property subject to division remains the law.

Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD76447

Filed September 16, 2014