Pension, Divorce and the Defined Benefit Plan
This is a plan set up by a company, union, or individual that provides a participant with a monthly income for life upon retirement:
Examples: IBM Retirement Plan, AT&T Pension Plan, Bricklayers Pension Fund-Local 21.
When a QDRO is drafted for this type of plan, benefits may commence to the Alternate Payee when the Participant reaches his/her earliest retirement age or when he/she actually retires or at any time in between. The benefit is distributed in monthly payments for either the lifetime of the Participant or the Alternate Payee.
Some Key Facts to Remember:
The Alternate Payee typically cannot be awarded a lump sum dollar amount. Any benefit to be awarded to an Alternate Payee must be stated in terms of a monthly amount.
If it is the intent of the parties that the Alternate Payee receive benefits for her lifetime, it is not always necessary for the Participant to elect a "Joint & Survivor" annuity. Some plans will convert the Alternate Payee's share of the Participant's benefit into a benefit based on her lifetime.
Resources & Tools
QDROs – The distribution of a pension normally requires a QDRO, which is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that establishes the terms and conditions of payment to both the worker-spouse and his survivor or former spouse.
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Online QDRO Preparation
QdroDeskTM. provides family law attorneys, their clients, and pro se filers an instant, easy, accurate, and affordable way to prepare Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), the appropriate settlement agreement language, and processing instructions. And does it all online, with an easy to use, question-and-answer format that has made QdroDeskTM. an industry leader.
Online Pension Valuations
PensionAppraisalDeskTM uses a mathematical, web-based calculation software that gives family law attorneys, their clients, and pro se filers an instant, easy, accurate appraisal of the present value of pension benefits for equitable distribution upon divorce.
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