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Yes.  Through the same process that created the original QDRO.  An attorney drafts up a change, everybody signs it, the court approves it and Plan Administrator accepts it.  As long as the change doesn't violate any rules.

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14 hours ago, Madmac said:

Can a QDRO BE changed 

We see this "fairly" often - especially in contentious divorces where after the "amount" is calculated, one party or the other (or both) object, sending them back to court for a modification), although as QDROPhile points out, if payment has been made, changes cannot change what has already happened - although a changed DRO can change what happens in the future (DC plans) and a "secondary" amount (an increased payment to the AP) does happen on occassion.

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I'm surprised by MoJo's comment that this happens "fairly" often.  I draft lots of QDROs for our client plans for the divorce attorneys. The negotiation goes on before it goes to the court, and if it can't be resolved by the parties prior to going to court, then the judge makes the decision. The order is not signed by the court/judge until AFTER the decision is made. We have never had a situation where the order has been rewritten after the judge has signed it; I've had lots of contentious divorces and have been subpoenaed more than once for client situations but never had a signed order revised (and I've been doing it for over 30 years).

Lawrence C. Starr, FLMI, CLU, CEBS, CPC, ChFC, EA, ATA, QPFC
Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.
46 Daggett Drive
West Springfield, MA 01089

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16 hours ago, Larry Starr said:

I'm surprised by MoJo's comment that this happens "fairly" often....

I don't know what others have experienced, but we see what I consider an inordinate number of DRO's already signed by the judge and filed - with NO draft submitted - and then routinely find problems with them requiring rework.  In addition, we commonly see scenarios where a DRO is "qualified" where the benefit to the AP is a formula, and either because the participant and AP can't do the math or the volatile marked makes drastic changes in hard dollars between agreement and processing objections are raised.  Our policy is to not process a QDRO unless both parties are in agreement at the time of processing (we are a non-discretionary directed service provider and our agreements with clients provide for such - a provision the plan sponsor can override, but usually is loathe to do), so if one objects, they go back to their attorneys or the court - which then causes a delay and more changes to the actual amount to be paid to the AP.

By the way, we process about 70 DROs a month providing that service to about only 500 or so of our clients...

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The simple answer is yes.  However, to address both MoJo and Larry . . .  we often receive executed DROs that contain language that is contrary to the plan (or law) provisions, usually when you have an attorney draft an order who has very little experience  in ERISA.  We have seen language that says that the participant is going to pay all of the taxes for the alternate, or that the alternate will be required to pay a penalty tax, to asking for more money than the participant has or limiting the alternate to only a cash distribution, to demanding that the participant has to countersign any paperwork that the alternate submits . . . . In those cases, we (as the Plan Administrator) are forced to disqualify the order and ask for provisions to be corrected.  However, once the asset split has been done, and in the case of a DC plan, the alternate has been paid out, you can't undo that payout.  Another QDRO can be issued to force an additional payout, but not reverse the first payout.  To Quote QDROphile:   

On 1/22/2018 at 6:03 PM, QDROphile said:

the plan is unlikely to accept the new or modified order.


Pamela L. (Bobersky) Shoup CEBS, RPA, QKA

AMI Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc.

100 Terra Bella Drive

Youngstown, Ohio 44505



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