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  1. Hi everyone, I may have made a grievous financial error. Under the terms of my 2013 QDRO, I'm entitled to 100% of the marital share of my ex's pension. His plan's administrator in 2013 told me I'd start getting the pension when my ex retired. (That's my recollection. I'm hoping to find this exchange in writing.) My ex is now age 62. He became eligible to retire at age 60, with 20 years of continuous service. I recently asked him about his intended retirement date. He referred me to his retirement plan administrator, who told me I was eligible to start my benefit "at any time." Have I forfeited either 2 or 9 years of pension payments? Is there any possible way for me to get back payment? My QDRO is below, and the retirement plan is attached. Thanks for helping me think this through! Best, Christie QDRO EXCERPT 8. The parties and the Court intend this Order to constitute a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order" as defined in Section 414(p)(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code”), and Section 206(d)(3)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security ^ct of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"). 9. This Order is issued pursuant to Section 20-107.3 of the 1950 Code of Virginia, as amended, which relates to the division of marital property rights between spouses and former spouses in actions for divorce. 10. The Alternate Payee is hereby assigned One Hundred Percent (100%) of the Participant’s total vested account balance under the Plan as of June 1, 2012, plus or minus any earnings and investment gains or losses thereon from June 1, 2012, to the date the Alternate Payee's share is segregated into a separate account in the Alternate Payee's name under the Plan. Such "total vested account balance" shall include all amounts which have accumulated under allof the various accounts and/or subaccounts established and maintained under the Plan on the Participant's behalf. There were no loans against the account as of June 1, 2012. The Alternate Payee's share of the benefits as set forth above shall be allocated on a pro rata basis among all of the accounts and/or investment funds maintained on behalf of the Participant under the Plan. If applicable, the Alternate Payee's share shall be paid from the non-loan assets in the Participant's account(s) on the date that the award is distributed from the Participant's account. 11. As soon as administratively feasible following the determination that this Order as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, the Alternate Payee’s share as awarded hereunder shall dc segregated and separately maintained in an account established on the Alternate Payee's Behalf and shall additionally be credited with any investment earnings or losses attributable :hereon from the segregation date to the date of total distribution to the Alternate Payee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Alternate Payee may elect to receive her benefits in any brm or permissible option under the Plan, including, but not limited to, an immediate lump sum cash payment and/or a direct rollover into an IRA or other qualified retirement account in the Alternate Payee's name. 12. The Alternate Payee shall be eligible to receive payment as soon as administratively feasible following determination that this Order is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. 13. If the Participant predeceases the Alternate Payee prior to payment of the Alternate Payee's assigned benefits under the Plan, payment to the Alternate Payee shall nonetheless be made under the terms of this Order. If the Alternate Payee dies before full payment to Alternate Payee has been made, the amount unpaid shall be made to the beneficiary designated by the Alternate Payee, or if no beneficiary has been so designated, in accordance 14. No benefits have been previously assigned from the Participant's interest to another alternate payee under another order which has been determined to be a QDRO. 15. This transfer is intended to be a trustee-to-trustee transfer and a non-taxable went to either party; however, if the Alternate Payee elects to receive a direct distribution from he Plan, the Alternate Payee shall be treated as the distributee under 26 U.S.C. Sections 72 and 102 of the Internal Revenue Code on Federal, State and local income tax returns for all retirement benefits and distributions that the Alternate Payee receives due to the benefits assigned herein, and, as such, will be required to pay the appropriate Federal, State, and local income taxes on such distributions. 16. The Alternate Payee shall notify the Plan Administrator in writing of any change in her mailing address as set forth above. 17. If the Plan is terminated, the Alternate Payee shall be entitled to receive the portion of the Participant’s benefits as stipulated herein in accordance with the Plan's termination provisions for participants and beneficiaries. 18. This Order does not require (i) the Plan to provide any type or form of benefit option not otherwise provided under the Plan; (ii) the Plan to provide increased benefits (determined on the basis of actuarial value); or (iii) the payment of any benefits to the Alternate with Plan provisions. Payee which are required to be paid to another alternate payee under another order previously determined to be a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. SPD Ret Plan 2010-Dec.pdf
  2. Does anyone have any insight on whether interest is required on delayed (non-RASD) payments? I've read Stephens v. U.S. Air, which suggests the courts (or at least the D.C. Court of Appeals) will require plans to pay interest on delayed payments. However, I cannot find anything in the regulations that require it. Advice from more seasoned professionals is appreciated.
  3. My mom had a Pension. A QJSA. She divorced in 2006 and retired in 2011. In her divorce they each retained their own retirement acts. Free and clear from any claims of one another. Through her employer I was her beneficiary on her life ,ad&d, 401k while she was working. She has passed and the company said the beneficiary had been notified without another word spoken to me. Her attorney said that state law (Ohio) predeceases the ex in retirement plans with decree which she thought all would go to me (pension and other acts) I am her only child. Now, her employer said I was not the beneficiary although I showed them paperwork that I was, which was done at her retirement in 2011. EVEN THOUGH THEY NOW SAY, after 5 months of back and forth, that I’m not the beneficiary they want me to send in her death certificate? It does not make any sense. Not only am I dealing with the death of my best friend but her employer is making me feel like crap to be honest. It’s all so very sad and don’t know what to do at this point. Do I just give up? Do I let it go? My mom did not want him to have anything because he had his own and it was always her intentions for me to have her acts. I was also her power of attorney and we had bank acts together. I have taken a full notebook of notes with the conversations I have had with her benefits center and Human Resources. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you so much! Quinan
  4. 1.415(b)-1(c)(5) states that an automatic benefit increase can essentially be disregarded when applying the 415 dollar limit to a benefit if 1) the benefit is paid in a form to which section 417(e)(3) does not apply, 2) the plan satisfies other requirements. I have a plan that provides for an accelerated form of payment (a Social Security Level Income Option), but otherwise satisfies all of the requirements of the above section. The catch is that this is a governmental plan that is exempt from the requirements of 417(e). Does a form of payment that would otherwise be subject to 417(e)(3) no longer fail the above exception by virtue of being paid from a governmental plan?
  5. My husband of 20 years just started receiving a pension he earned prior to our marriage which was subject to a QDRO. We had to submit his paperwork at the end of the year for the pension payout and he chose a payout based on 100% survivorship. He just received a letter that outlined that his ex wife will receive 50% of the pension, per the QDRO as expected, and also that if my husband were to die, she’d receive the same amount - also expected as the QDRO did specify she would have death benefits. However the letter also specified that if my husband predeceases me I would only get about 1/6 of that amount . I am confused. If my husband’s pension, in which he was 100% vested - for simplicity’s sake - is 1000/month with 100% survivorship, if he dies is it appropriate/expected that his half of the 1000 virtually disappears? With the ex wife getting her expected $500 still but the current spouse only getting $100? This seems to imply that my husbands employer gets a windfall by being allowed to keep 400/month in which he was entirely vested with 100% survivorship just because he got divorced. How can the employer be allowed to somehow not pay the full survivor benefit given that he was vested? This seems like it would be illegal. There is no argument at all with what the ex wife is getting , just confusion over why the current spouse would lose the remaining piece of the pension. Is this normal? Should I be engaging a lawyer?
  6. The son of a retiree called in to our corporate office and explained the following situation. His father is drawing social security as well as the company pension. He is applying for certain Medicaid programs that have limits to monthly income. When the retiree combines social security plus pension, he is over the limit for the medicaid program he wants to apply for. The retiree determined that the medicaid benefits are more important than the amount of his monthly pension. Is it possible to refuse/stop/suspend pension payments? Is it different based on each plan document? Are there overall rules governing this? I reached out to the actuaries we use and they said from their research, it is impossible for him to discontinue receiving the pension payments.
  7. In a defined benefit plan, we located missing participants and validated current address. They were non responsive to begin their benefit so we defaulted their election and began payment. Two participants, who are 70.5, have not cashed their checks. Do I stop payment and not reissue so that a 1099 is not generated or should we continue making payments knowing the checks aren't being cashed?
  8. I have a client who is wanting to purchase a second home. He wants to make the purchase using his pension and holding the real estate as an asset of the pension. Is that allowed? Or is there anything like this allowed? He is the plan sponsor of his company's retirement plan. He has a traditional with profit sharing, plus he has a cash balance plan as well. Thank you in advance!
  9. We have a client that sold substantially all of its assets (everything but the pension plan) in an asset sale to an unrelated buyer. Company is no longer an ongoing concern but the prior owners are trying to wrap up the pension plan and terminate it. The plan is underfunded and there were zero proceeds from the sale to fund the pension (the owners also got nothing from the sale, the sale proceeds were only sufficient to pay off bank loans). The PBGC is involved and we are trying to get direction as to whether they will take over the plan and wrap it up but they have been "examining the case" for months with not direction. In the meantime, the company continues to file Form 5500s and obtain plan audits....further eroding the plan assets and excise taxes are accruing due to funding shortfalls, etc. Any recommendations on how to terminate this plan and wrap it up?
  10. I apologize, I don't have as much familiarity with DB plans as I do with DC plans, so if there is another thread that answers my questions, or website, or reference material somewhere, please point me in that direction. Plan Information Traditional DB plan, does not allow distribution prior to NRA, nor does it appear to allow for single lump sums( don't ask me why, its a convoluted individually designed document, I had nothing to do with it, it came to me that way). Normal benefit is regular single life, with 50% JS for married participants. Plan has several participants that need RMD - they can't locate them, or in some instances the participants won't respond. I suspect for some of the participants, if they received their RMD check in the mail, they would just cash it. The question is - the plan does not know the participant's marital status - on what basis do they calculate the annuity, and thus the RMD amount? And before you tell me to check the document, it appears to be silent. As I said it is individually drafted and not a typical one at that. We are getting less than clear answers from the actuaries and financial institution. The actuary isn't willing to calculate any sort of RMD without knowing marital status and Date of birth. The financial institution isn't willing to process any sort of RMD without participant consent, which I think is actually a separate issue that we are addressing, but certainly doesn't help matters. If it was a 401(k) plan and I didn't know the spouse date of birth (or even if there was one) I would just calculate and have the plan payout based solely on the participant's DOB. But the actuary doesn't want to calculate the RMD based on a single life annuity without actually knowing, so I'm a bit at a loss. Surely someone else has figured out a way to handle this?
  11. My question relates to 29 CFR 2510.3-2(b) Severance Pay Plans The Regulations state "the total amount of such payments does not exceed the equivalent of twice the employee's annual compensation during the year immediately preceding the termination of his service." What does the phrase "the equivalent of" mean? Is the DOL referring to the time value of money? Additionally, in referring to the annual compensation, how is that determined? Is the annual compensation the employees previous years salary or is it the salary it would have been if he had continued working? Essentially I'm asking if anyone knows what they mean by "usual rate of compensation". Any thoughts? Thank you!
  12. Suppose a plan allows for an unreduced early retirement benefit as early as age 55. Normal Retirement Date is age 65. The plan was frozen a couple of year's ago. A participant is currently working and is now eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit, but the plan does not allow for in-service distributions. Assume that 415 limits don't apply to this person. If this participant waits until a later date (perhaps age 65) to commence their benefit then there has clearly been some benefit "left on the table", but has an impermissible forfeiture of benefits occurred? What if the plan offered in-service distributions? Does it make a difference if the participant is a former participant who consequently is not currently receiving a paycheck from the plan sponsor?
  13. I have the opportunity to start my own TPA firm and I really need some help. I have been a pension admin for some time now and have a firm grasp of the administration side. I have been offered an opportunity to join a CPA firm and partner with them to start a TPA firm. I have done the grind and put together all the paperwork for new clients, takeover plans, safe harbor notices, etc... I have ASC coming and installing their programs and I will accompany that with Pension Pro software. So I have almost everything lined up to move forward. My question is: #1 - Do I have to have certain credentials to be able to start my own TPA firm? I have one more test to get my APA designation, but is there something that would stop me from being able to open my own firm? #2 - Besides all the proper paperwork and setting up the software, is there something i could be missing that would be a road block or set back? #3 - What advice can you give me that would help me avoid pitfalls or help me not miss something while setting up the new firm. #4 - Would someone be willing to have a conference call with me and go over the steps they went through to start their own firm? In a nut shell, I just need some guidance so I don't have a surprise pop up that would not allow me to open the new firm. I would really appreciate all the help i can get to start off on the right foot. Thanks!!
  14. Hi. We terminated our DB plan last year. We have been notified by our trustee that there are about 10 participants (that all made affirmative elections as to their account balances) that have not cashed their checks. These checks range from 9 to 12 months in age. The trustee says they need to return these funds to us (the employer/plan sponsor). But the plan trust is closed. We have filed Form 501. We are trying to track these people down to find out why they haven't cashed their checks. The trustee is saying that even if we find some or all of these people, they (the trustee) cannot re-issue a check. They say that they have to send the funds back to us. With the plan trust closed, can we (the employer) even take these funds back? If so, how do we hold these funds. We are confident that we can find all of these participants (4 of them are active employees). Thanks for any guidance.
  15. 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.
  16. Is there any reason an employer participating in a multiemployer pension plan couldn't convert its contribution structure to a defined contribution (money purchase) arrangement?
  17. A pension plan pays the benefit due each month on the last day of the month. When a retiree dies, his last check is issued instead to his beneficiary. Plan benefits include after-tax contributions. Is the retiree or the beneficiary taxed? How should the plan handle 1099-R reporting and withholding? Thank you.
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