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  1. Informal survey - do you permit participants to submit QDROs in electronic format (with raised seal visible) or do you require hard copy originals and why? Thanks!
  2. What is my recourse if I disagree with the QDRO proposed by my ex-spouse? Do I have to sign it? Can I strike through the part that says "Consented to By" under the signature line? If I don't sign, or if I strike through, can I be held in contempt? What recourse do I have?
  3. Background: 1998 QDRO issued / approved, 401K plan administrator (or trustee?) created a separate account for my funds. I've not touched it. 2018 balance about 4 times what it was and I need cash. Best as I've been able to determine (lousy customer service) the plan does still recognize me as an AP and my exemption from 10% penalty still applies. Plan won't allow partial withdrawal, all or nothing only & of course will withhold 20% Questions: 1. Does the exemption from 10% penalty apply to all, including the earnings? 2. When I file my tax return, how do I evidence to the IRS it is not subject to the penalty? (only income tax) 3. If instead I do a direct rollover into a new IRA (losing the QDRO status) and take 72(t) SEPP for a min. of 5 years, when I turn 59.5 in just 3 years, can I make additional penalty free withdrawals over & above the 72(t) distributions? 4. Other thoughts - am I missing anything, is there a chance the QDRO/penalty exemption "expired",...?
  4. I have received a DRO for a participant who is only partially vested in a 401(k) plan. The DRO instructs that we value the vested and unvested portion of account as of a specific date in the past. And then if/as the Participant vests in the future, the AP will receive a proportionate share of that vesting. If the Participant doesn't vest, the AP doesn't receive any further funds. I am accustomed to qualifying the DRO and immediately segregating the assets, but I cannot give the AP unvested assets and then allow the AP to attain them as the Participant vests. And I cannot imagine trying to keep track and move half of the newly vested portion over each year as the Participant vests further. The risk of a recordkeeping error seems high. This feels like a problematic situation. The participant will not pay out from the vested portion and attorney indicates no other options. Would appreciate feedback as the only other DRO's I"ve dealt with were fully vested.
  5. Does anyone know if the award instructions in a QDRO need to be clarified (e.g., the parties' intent regarding how to treat the loan balance, to include it or not in determining the balance), can the two divorcees submit a letter with both signatures?
  6. I am a caregiver for a 55-year-old woman disabled by mental illness since 2003. Her husband divorced her as soon as she became disabled, and she received alimony until he retired six months ago. She was independent for the first several years I was with her, but I lived in her home as a safety measure because she was heavily medicated at night to keep her from having hallucinations that caused her to sleepwalk and even drive. She handled her own finances and I knew little except that even with disability and alimony she struggled financially due to the cost of her medications and paying for my room and board, which was the payment for my help. After an accident in 2013 caused injuries to her brain and internal organs she became more dependent on me, and at the loss of driving privileges she became a recluse. As soon as she receives her portion of her husband's retirement plan through a QDRO, I will be helping her find a residential care facility, as I am nearly 70 years old and ready to go. I apologize for the background, but it is necessary to my question. She has recently told me in a rare lucid moment that she has not paid income taxes in eight years. I did not mention to her that the IRS could levy her QDRO before she even receives it. Am I right? I think she slipped under the radar since she has not received even a letter from them (I pick up our mail), Her distribution will be $100k so they might take notice now, I'm afraid. Thank you.
  7. Can anyone help me here please? We are getting divorced in the UK (it has to happen in the UK because this is where we currently live). My pension plan in the US states that the QDRO must be signed by a judge in a US court. We plan to attached the agreed QDRO to the UK court documents that will be signed/stamped by a UK court. How do we then get the QDRO signed by a judge in a US court? I don't know where to start with this last step. For example, how do we find the relevant US court that would sign it? I am hoping the US court signature is a formality based on my belief that the US court will recognize the divorce as it has been approved by a UK court. Thanks for any suggestions in advance.
  8. Profit Sharing Plan has 2 participants who are husband and wife, soon to be ex-husband and ex-wife. Both have agreed not to request a DRO with respect to the other's PS account balance. This is stated in the Divorce Agreement (not yet signed by both parties). The husband has terminated service with the plan sponsor and has requested distribution of his AcctBal. In order for the plan sponsor to proceed with the husband's distribution, the plan needs assurance a DRO will never be presented to the Plan. Would statements from each of the 2 participants, each irrevocably waiving the right to bring forward a DRO with respect to their soon to be former ex-spouse be sufficient, and if so, should it be a notarized statement or is a witness sufficient? Also, if the Divorce Agreement were signed would it be sufficient on its own (thus no individual waiver statements needed)? Thank you.
  9. Seeking advice....my father retired two years ago and start receiving his pension from a labor union, which is 100 percent funded by employers. I am the only child, he is single, and I was left with a large burial bill, property taxes, and other estate bills. I discovered he changed his beneficiary on his pension to a friend, who will start collecting his monthly pension. Is there anything I can do at this point to receive his pension? Override the beneficiary or Obtain a DRO to assist with the expenses?
  10. Hello, Client was divorced 5 years ago and the divorce decree awards a portion of Jax police and fire pension as property settlement award. Now, govt ee is retiring and not sure if can use IDO to claim divorcee's share? An attorney said use IDO, but this is property settlement award, not alimony or child support. Pension representative says use IDO. I think need to get order reforming this property settlement as permanent nonmodifiable alimony and use IDO. Can we do that? I am an attorney trying to help my client. But as a newbie attorney (yet old to defined contribution plans), not sure who to ask about what I do with a government plan question? Where can I go to find answer? Or, who can I reach out to for help in this divorce case? Thank you, Susan
  11. Hello, Newbie to this forum so please forgive my ignorance on this issue. I recently retired from the military and moved back home to help my aging mother. I will try keep this short and to the point. My mother is currently 71, married and lives in NC. I recently looked at divorce paperwork from an earlier marriage she was involved in where the separation agreement was filed in a CO district court in 1991. Her ex spouse is a cardiologist in CO, still practicing and part owner in the very large practice. In the separation agreement I discovered a QDRO was to be used to ensure my mother received $25,000 from the practice's pension plan. My mother did trust this man and they split on good terms, but she simply relied on him to make sure he complied with the terms of the agreement. When I recently asked, she was unaware she was entitled to the $25k and confirmed she never received it. She also did not have a lawyer. The doctor had the paperwork prepared by his and she just showed up and signed. I know it was not the smartest thing for her to do but I was too young to know better at the time and she really had no idea either. Again the doctor's practice is alive and well today, but they have added a word to name of the practice. The pension plan also exists under a slightly different name from what comes back in a google search and has substantial assets. Needless to say, this guy is easily a millionaire several times over by now and my mom deserves what she's entitled to. How should I go about collecting on this QDRO? My thoughts on how to proceed: 1 - send the doctor a letter (with a copy of the separation agreement) and ask him if he just wants to write a check and be done with it or 2 - use a lawyer to collect (less desirable) I appreciate your time and any and all ideas you may have to help. Thank you.
  12. Participant and spouse split her account balance in 2016 according to the terms of a QDRO Plan account is pooled account, upon instructions from the client, since the spouse was rolling over, the brokerage firm wrote the check directly to the financial institution. I assume the spouse should be issued a 1099, code G with the plan as the payor and the participant's account would show the money coming out of her account. However, the spouse is not a participant. Is this cause for concern?
  13. Wife and I would like to get access to our retirement account to pay off debt at this time. Fidelity has stated that the only way to do so would be a court order. QDRO. Is there anything that an attorney can do, as I have one and just needed to know what we would like to file and how. It's a state retirement fund through a university. It was a ASRS fund but got switched to Fidelity. Thanks and I'm not familiar with any of this stuff at all.
  14. I divorced 20+ years ago and we had a QDRO filed for my no ex-husbands retirement. He cannot retire until he is 62. However with my job, I am eligible to retire at 55. In our original QDRO, it states that I can only receive funds if my EX, retires, dies, or quits his job. What I want to know is: Can I request that the QDRO be amended, so that I can roll it over into my own CALPERS retirement? It has now sat in an account for 20 years and continues to sit there drawing NO INTEREST at all. Please let me know if anyone has challenged this issue and won, how did you do it? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.
  15. How do you define receipt of a DRO? I have seen some interesting questions here and on other sites lately, which caused me to take a closer look at my firm’s QDRO procedures. One thing that I am a little stuck on and that I’m hoping for some good input from the benefitslink community on, is at what point do you consider the Plan Administrator being in receipt of a DRO for a QDRO determination? And more specifically, what triggers the Plan Administrator’s duty to segregate and separately account for the assets subject to the QDRO. Our current QDRO procedures states: “Upon receipt of a written notice of a domestic relations order, the Plan Administrator will…” If I (the Plan Administrator) get a request from an alternate payee’s attorney asking for certain information to assist them in drafting a DRO, am I in receipt of a DRO that would require me to not process distribution requests from the participant? Technically, I would say no, I’m not yet in receipt of a DRO. However, processing a participant’s distribution request after you know that a DRO is in the process of being drafted seems to go against the spirit of the law. I have not seen any advisory opinions or other guidance on what is considered receipt of a DRO. Would anyone here argue that there is such a thing as constructive receipt of a DRO? Thanks in advance for any input and (hopefully) spirited discussion J
  16. I submitted my prepared(draft) QDRO to the pension plan administrator and received a letter from them stating that the order "qualifies" as a QDRO. MY EX WON'T SIGN IT!. A 50% division of his pension plan for the length of our marriage( 23 years) was a stipulation in our divorce settlement 10 years ago. He has not remarried, and he is not collecting benefits yet. What will happen if I submit the QDRO to the court for the judge to sign without my Ex’s signature? Someone advised me to file a request for order to have the judge appoint a Elisor to sign it in my Ex’s behalf. I’m hoping I don’t have to go back to court to get something that was already agreed on in the settlement. It's my understanding that I need to have the judge sign it off before sending back to the plan for final approval.
  17. We have an hourly fee for the processing of a QDRO distribution. Is there any guidance on who is responsible for paying the fee - the Participant or the Alternate Payee? Does anyone out there have the Participant and the Payee split the QDRO fee?
  18. Extremely small plan sponsor (maybe a dozen participants) - with the owner going through a divorce. The TPA received a subpoena demanding copies of all information about the owner as an individual, as well as all information regarding the business, on paper no less. No mention of the retirement plan whatsoever. Of course all the TPA records on that plan relate to the owner and the business, how could they not? Overly broad, no? Thoughts?
  19. Ex wife wide just filed for qdro from 1992 divorce. Divorce orders states 3/17 of respondents retirement. Attorney was suppose to follow up to court 30 days later. Attorney never followed up, now attorney is retired and of no help. Judge says she has no idea how court decided on 3/17 share. It was my I understanding the 3/17 fraction was a lump sum of benefit tobbe paid monthly as of 1992. I had defined benefit retirement plan with united Airlines that went bankrupt now under PBGC. The judge wants to take 3/17 of my entire monthly payment. I would appreciate answers how to handle thsee issues. I'm in pay status since December 2011 and the judge wants back payments. It wasn't my fault ex wife didn't keep up with qdro and get it filed before I remarried and retired. Help please. Thank you.
  20. A Plan Administrator of a 401kPSP received a phone call from a former participant who has a large balance ($100k) that he wants to take a distribution (which he is otherwise eligible to receive) so he doesn't lose his home, and, that he and his wife are splitting and she wants half of his Plan account. The Plan's QDRO Procedure states, "Procedure prior to receipt of order: The Plan will apply the following procedure prior to the Plan's receipt of a Domestic Relations Order. Suspension of Participant distributions or loans. If the Plan Administrator is on notice (verbal or written) regarding a pending domestic relations action (e.g., a divorce) and has a reasonable belief the Participant's account may become subject to a QDRO, the Plan Administrator may suspend processing the Participant's distribution or loan requests pending resolution. Removing hold on the account. After placing a hold on the account, the Plan Administrator should notify the Participant of the hold on the account. In order to remove the hold, the Plan Administrator should request the Participant to provide written confirmation that a court will not issue a QDRO with respect to the account, such as a property settement agreement awarding the entire account to the Participant." Questions: Is such a phone call sufficient to place the Plan Administrator "on notice" of a pending domestic relations action, such that a "hold" should be placed on the Participant's account, for which he is otherwise eligible to receive a distribution? Can the Plan process (at least) a partial distribution or a hardship distribution in amount necessary for the hardship (house) up to an amount equal to no more than 50% of the account, essentially only "holding" 50% of the account pending the purported domestic relations action? If a "hold" is appropriate at this time on the Participant'saccount (full or partial), for how long should it remain on "hold" before the Plan releases it for inaction by either party? What if the Participant does not ascertain a court order but he (and his wife if necessary?) does contact the Plan Administrator and say they were arguing and the phone call made today was without merit and should be ignored? Or would something more concrete be preferred such as a sworn affidavit? Could the Plan Administrator remove the "hold" on the account? Thank you.
  21. I'm really trying to see if this should throw a "Red" flag. The parties enter into a settlement wherein the alternate payee is paid 50% of the payee's Defined Benefit Plan. This is a small business. After the Consent is signed but before the QDRO is entered the Plan is scheduled for termination by the Plan administrator. The "Plan administrator" happens to also be the Participant. Could this affect the alternate payee's 50%? Something just doesn't feel right. I'm afraid someone is trying to pull a fast one. The participant has not retired at this point. They are asking that the QDRO, after initial review include termination language.
  22. My divorce from Washington was final in February 1991 while I was stationed in Georgia with the US Army. As part of the decree my exwife was to get half my pension from Prudential, previously vested while we were married, but no QDRO was prepared at that time. The current value of the pension is less than $500/month. So it's now time to apply for payment of pension benefits and I'm totally lost as to what I do to get the pension papers processed. The folks at Prudential told me I had to go to some site to get information, but everything I see appears for individuals currently going through a divorce and the QDRO is just one more piece of the divorce papers. I live in Utah and my exwife lives in Washington, in the same county the court order for the divorced was issued. I'm a bit lost as to how to move ahead. Does this thing need to be handled in Washington or Utah? Nothing I ready has given me any clue as to how to get this done.
  23. I have a seperate interest DRO for a DB plan that allows an alternate payee to commence benefits any time after the participant's earliest retirement date. I was under the impresssion that alternate payees had to commence no later than a participant, as QDROs are commonly drafted to include that language, but I could not find a citation to back that up. This is not an RMD issue. Any thoughts?
  24. A QDRO was filed but was written as a shared interest but this needs to be amended to be a separate interest. Can this be done?
  25. I am interested in learning more about the several QDRO-outsourcing services available in the retirement-services markets, and hope to get information from BenefitsLink mavens’ wide experience. Of the big recordkeepers, which ones offer a service of deciding whether an order is a qualified domestic relations order? For those that offer a service, does the service provider accept responsibility as a fiduciary to the extent of its QDRO-or-not decisions? Or does the QDRO service provider get the plan’s named fiduciary to instruct the service provider to follow a written procedure it designed so that the service provider is not a fiduciary? I have seen QDRO service procedures that authorize the service provider to approve as a QDRO only an order that is identical (but for the names and addresses, and filling-in the amount or percentage to set over to the alternate payee) to a specified form of order. All else the service provider turns back to the plan’s administrator. How common is this way of doing a QDRO service? If a QDRO service procedure is not so limited as described in the preceding paragraph, what techniques does the procedure use to get rid of discretion? Do other recordkeepers or third-party administrators offer a service of deciding whether an order is a qualified order? Again, does one design it to be fiduciary or non-fiduciary? Are there are any “stand-alone” QDRO service providers that are not a part of or affiliated with a recordkeeper or third-party administrator? What methods do they use? If your customer says it wants to outsource QDRO decisions, what service provider do you suggest to your customer?
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