Pension – Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Assignment of Benefits and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
You may not assign or transfer your benefits under this Plan or use them as security. However, the Plan will honor a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”).
A QDRO is a “domestic relations order” (“DRO”) issued by a state court that pertains to child support, alimony payments or the marital property rights of a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent and assigns to such “alternate payee” the right to receive all or a portion of the Participant’s benefit.
In order to be a QDRO, the DRO must specify:
- The name and last known mailing address of the Participant and each alternate payee covered by the order,
- The amount of or percentage of benefits to be paid to each alternate payee, or the manner in which such amount or percentage is to be determined,
- The number of payments or period to which such order applies, and
- Specify that these conditions apply to this named Plan which is the Northern California Glaziers, Architectural Metal and Glassworkers Pension Plan.
At the same time, the DRO must not:
- Require the Plan to provide any type or form of benefit not otherwise provided under the Plan,
- Require the Plan to pay increased benefits determined on the basis of actuarial value,
- Require payments in conflict with a previously issued qualified domestic relations order, or
- Require payments to begin before the Participant is eligible for a pension.
Procedure for Obtaining a QDRO
You should have your attorney contact the Plan Office regarding your divorce, including the date of marriage and date of separation.
The Plan Office or the Plan’s attorney will supply you with a sample QDRO and pertinent information pertaining to your situation. While the sample QDRO contains elements that are consistent with the terms of the Plan, its use is not required. Since the division of marital assets is the subject of negotiation between the divorcing/divorced parties, the sample QDRO cannot be considered to protect the interest of either party. Accordingly, both parties must look to their own legal advisors for guidance prior to submitting a QDRO with the courts and Plan.
Your attorney or your ex-spouse’s attorney should then prepare a proposed QDRO based on your particular situation and submit it to the Plan’s attorney. Once the QDRO has been approved by all concerned, it should be filed with the court. After being filed, an endorsed copy must be filed with the Plan Office before any benefits can be paid directly to your ex-spouse.