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Certain types of pension plan benefits are treated as separate property of the employee spouse even if clearly earned by community labor or money contributions during marriage or cohabitation. It only applies at termination of the community by death. The terminable interest doctrine is generally not applied in most community states. It will be applied when the nonemployee spouse dies survived by the employee spouse making all future pension benefits the survivor's separate property. It is also applied to lump sum payments payable after the employee spouse dies. It has been held that it does not apply to a death benefit consisting only of a return to the employee's estate of the very community funds he paid into the pension plan.

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