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 Retirement and Individual Account Plans are mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant's pension benefits. 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 attorney who will draft the QDRO will probably wish to obtain a copy of the summary plan descriptions and the plan documents. Send an email to the Trust Office to request these documents be mailed to the attorney. Also, the attorney will need the QDRO information forms.
- Since your family status changes as the result of a divorce, you need to notify the Trust Office within 60 days after the divorce becomes final. The office will notify your ex-spouse of any continuing coverage options. You will have to submit a copy of the final divorce decree to finalize changes to your benefits.
- You will want to review your designation of beneficiary for all of the Plans. You can update this information using the Enrollment Card.
- If you are already retired when you become divorced, see "Pop-Up Benefit" under the section titled "Retirement Payment Options".
Financial planners recommend that persons undergoing a divorce should review and update a number of personal plans and documents. Here is a checklist of some items which you may need to update, revise, or consider:
Health & Security SPD
Individual Account SPD
- Change of Address
- Enrollment Card
- QDRO Enrollment Card | Alternate Payee
- Model QDRO - Pre-Retirement
- Model QDRO - Post-Retirement
- Model QDRO - Pop Up