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Death of alternative payee before designating beneficiary

Guest Eva14

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My husband was the alternate payee as a result of a QDRO from his first marriage, from a Defined Benefit plan/ Separate Interest. At the time the divorce was finalized (1985), he assigned his sister as his beneficiary, long before we met and married.

He could commence receiving his pension when the ex reached her minimum retirement age, which would be Dec 2014, he requested the documents to start the process to receive payments, but he died last month (sept), the documents arrived 2 days after his death, he didn't get a chance to sign them and assign me as his beneficiary.

Since he never withdrew his portion of the contributions plus interest, there is a balance. As I read through the documents, it says that if less than three years of benefits have been paid out, his beneficiary will receive the remainder of the contribution and interests in the event of his death.

We married in 2002.A couple of times he contacted the pension plan to add my name as a beneficiary but was told he couldn't do it until he started receiving benefits. it was his wish that I should be his sole beneficiary, not his sister. Will that initial QDRO assignment of beneficiary pose a problem for me to claim this balance? Where do I stand now?

Please help. Thanks

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I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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