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What exemption is used for public retirement systems (like CalPERS) that are an indefinite amount?

Sacramento, CA |

In the NOLO Chapter 7 book I read, they just list the retirement plan on Schedule B and say "not in bankruptcy estate", but I was told that I also need to list it on Schedule C to fully exempt it. What exemption law should be used for this? And how would I list it on schedule C if there is no known value?

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Attorney answers 3


If it's not in the BK estate, you don't need to exempt it. But if you insist on attaching an exemption to it, use 703.140(b)(10)(E) and check "unknown"


Of course there is a known value for your interest in CALPers, it is just that you have made no effort to find the value. I would suggest that you either contact the system administrator for valuation help or learn to estimate pension values before putting down a value. If you are having trouble with your exemptions, you probably ought to have legal representation, because it will be the issue you don't see to worry about that will kick you in the behind. Hope this perspective helps!



Excuse me, but I really don't care for the tone in your reply. How exactly do you know what effort I have made? I do know how my retirement plan works, and that it is a defined-benefit plan, which is not a situation of $X have been deposited, so it is worth $X . I how much I have deposited, and how much my employer has, but it's overall worth is determined by a number of factors that cannot be determined at this time, like how many years I will work for the state, and how many years I will live past retirement. Please don't assume that I am an idiot and have not already done quite a bit of research on this. Also, do realize that people don't file for bankruptcy on their own because they want to. More like they are living in reality where money does not actually grow on trees... I apologize for my tone in response, but I didn't come on here to be insulted.


All debts and assets must be disclosed, including your interest in retirement/pension/profit sharing accounts. Generally, the amount is fully exemptable. You need to consult with a BK attorney in order to properly select your exemption schedule. You must use the same schedule for the entire case and are not allowed to mix your exemption schedules. In my 37 years of practice, I cannot recall omitting any retirement account from the personal property asset Schedules.