There are many issues that need to be considered during the process of getting a divorce. The following checklist may be of help to simplify the necessary steps you need to take in regard to your benefit plans.
- The Pension Plan is mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant's pension benefit. The legal name for the order which must be approved and filed with both the pension plan and the court is the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced kwadro).
- The plan has a sample QDRO available to help the parties and their attorneys draft a QDRO which can be accepted and processed by the plan.
- Your attorney will probably wish to obtain a copy of the summary plan description and the pension plan document (the rules and regulations).
- In order to preserve your COBRA rights, you must inform the Plan office of your divorce within 60 days.
- You will have to submit a copy of the final divorce decree with the Plan to finalize changes to your benefits.
- You will want to review your designation of beneficiary for both the Pension and Health Plans.
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