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SITUATION ; 

Retired partipant REMARRIES then dies (alternate payee/ex wive PRECEEDED Participant's death)

(full retirement plans from two aerospace companies) 

(a little background) 

(1) Participant divorced, with QDRO agreement

(2) Participant later remarried

(3) His ex-wife aka "alternate payee" died before he did

QUESTION ;

Is the second wife aka his "surviving spouse" entitled to any of his pension benefits ;

(1)  BEFORE participant's death?
(2)  AFTER participant's death?

"What happens to a private pension plan when an (Alternate Payee/EX spouse) before the Participant dies?"
 

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It is impossible to answer your question since there are so many possibilities. Generally the plan must follow the original qdro. What does it say to do? The new spouse is entitled to any death benefits provided from the plan that haven't already been spoken for in one way or another in the original qdro.

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Confirm that the aerospace companies were US based and required to comply with ERISA. 

If first wife died than all of her benefits died with her. If she was receiving a shared interest in his retirement annuity, then that would end on her death (unless the plan permitted her to pass her share of his retirement annuity to her estate).  If she has predeceased her then she obviously cannot receive any survivor annuity benefits.   

If the parties are not involved in a divorce proceeding then the new wife is entitled to none of his retirement or survivor annuity benefits by reason of a court order.    

If husband remarried new wife and then retired, he would have been required to elect a 50% QJSA annuity for the new wife.

If husband retired and then remarried, he most likely would have had an option to elect a 50% QJSA annuity for the new wife if he met the eligibility requirements of the Plan, ex: duration of marriage, time after retirement when that window was open.   

If husband is dead there are no "retirement" benefits to consider.  Only "survivor annuity" benefits.  

Maybe you can restate the issue and be a little more specific about the facts and the timeline.  

 

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Echoing what Mike said.  Lots of possibilities, the QDRO will contain the answers.  

The QDRO splits the participant's benefit into two pieces.  One for the participant, one for the AP.   "shared interest" vs. "separate interest" relate to how the benefits are treated upon the death of either beneficiary or spouse.  You need to read the QDRO for details because there are too many options to try to explain in a short response.  Also, California is a "community property" state, so that likely complicates things as well.

Either way, regarding the piece that is assigned to the participant, if you were the spouse of the participant at the time they commenced payments, they either elected a Joint and Survivor benefit with you as beneficiary, or you waived your rights and they selected a different form of payment, or beneficiary. 

The piece that was payable to the AP either reverted to the participant or stopped at the time of the APs death depending on the language in the QDRO and the AP's election. If it reverted to the participant, and if you were receiving the participant's share, it is possible that it would go to you, but the QDRO language and participant's elections will control. 

It is also important to know if the AP and/or participant died before or after retirement benefits commenced.  The QDRO likely treats these events differently. 

The material provided and the opinions expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and should not be used or relied upon as the basis for any action or inaction. You should obtain appropriate tax, legal, or other professional advice.

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(1) Does the QDRO end when if the Alternate Payee dies BEFORE the Participant, according ERISA? 

(2) The "Alternate Payee/First Spouse," was divorced from the Participant and is it the Second Spouse that is his (Participant's) "Survivor, AFTER THE DEATH of the AP?"  

Note;  Participant was RETIRED, and RECEIVING monthly private pension benefits, BEFORE QDRO was drafted and approved by the divorce court.  Alternate Payee died less than 1 yr AFTER divorce & QDRO. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, 2ndWife Rights Rice R Lice said:

(1) Does the QDRO end when if the Alternate Payee dies BEFORE the Participant, according ERISA? 

(2) The "Alternate Payee/First Spouse," was divorced from the Participant and is it the Second Spouse that is his (Participant's) "Survivor, AFTER THE DEATH of the AP?"  

Note;  Participant was RETIRED, and RECEIVING monthly private pension benefits, BEFORE QDRO was drafted and approved by the divorce court.  Alternate Payee died less than 1 yr AFTER divorce & QDRO. 

 

 

It is impossible to answer your question since there are so many possibilities. Generally the plan must follow the original qdro. What does it say to do? The new spouse is entitled to any death benefits provided from the plan that haven't already been spoken for in one way or another in the original qdro.

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Your questions are very confusing. 

1) The QDRO should state what happens to the share of the participant's benefit that was assigned to the AP if the AP dies first.  Again, the results may be different depending on if the AP dies pre/post commencement of benefits.

2) Is this intended to be a statement, or a question?  What do you mean the "first spouse ... is the Second Spouse"?

on the Note:  This is very critical. If the participant was already receiving payments when the QDRO was executed, generally, the only option is a "shared interest" payable in the form previously elected by the participant.  In other words, the participant elected a form of payment and a possibly a beneficiary at the time of retirement.  Those provisions generally cannot be changed.  Therefore, the QDRO could only assign a portion of the benefit the participant was receiving to the AP.  In that situation, if the AP died first, the payments would generally revert to the participant.  If the participant had elected a joint and survivor benefit with the 2nd spouse as beneficiary then the benefits would go to the 2nd spouse on the death of the participant. If the participant elected a life annuity, all payments would stop upon the death of the participant.

This is just the way I think it should have been handled.  Others have different opinions so you need to read the QDRO.  It will contain the answer. 

The material provided and the opinions expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and should not be used or relied upon as the basis for any action or inaction. You should obtain appropriate tax, legal, or other professional advice.

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16 hours ago, Mike Preston said:

It is impossible to answer your question since there are so many possibilities. Generally the plan must follow the original qdro. What does it say to do? The new spouse is entitled to any death benefits provided from the plan that haven't already been spoken for in one way or another in the original qdro.

I will try to get a copy from the court. Ty

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11 hours ago, Effen said:

Your questions are very confusing. 

1) The QDRO should state what happens to the share of the participant's benefit that was assigned to the AP if the AP dies first.  Again, the results may be different depending on if the AP dies pre/post commencement of benefits.

2) Is this intended to be a statement, or a question?  What do you mean the "first spouse ... is the Second Spouse"?

on the Note:  This is very critical. If the participant was already receiving payments when the QDRO was executed, generally, the only option is a "shared interest" payable in the form previously elected by the participant.  In other words, the participant elected a form of payment and a possibly a beneficiary at the time of retirement.  Those provisions generally cannot be changed.  Therefore, the QDRO could only assign a portion of the benefit the participant was receiving to the AP.  In that situation, if the AP died first, the payments would generally revert to the participant.  If the participant had elected a joint and survivor benefit with the 2nd spouse as beneficiary then the benefits would go to the 2nd spouse on the death of the participant. If the participant elected a life annuity, all payments would stop upon the death of the participant.

This is just the way I think it should have been handled.  Others have different opinions so you need to read the QDRO.  It will contain the answer. 

Ty vm for your response.  I will try to get a copy from the court. 

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Just to be clear, you are going to obtain a copy of the QDRO signed in connection with your deceased  husband's marriage to a previous wife who is also deceased?  Can simplify this by putting names on the parties? Let's call your husband John, his first wife Amy, and your Betty.  So John and Amy were married and there was a QDRO or two.  And Amy died first and now John had died.  And you want to know if you, Betty have any survivor benefit rights from John's former employers?  Do I have it right? 

These issues are fact intensive and rarely can anyone give you a valid answer without knowing those facts.  Get copies of BOTH QDROs, cross out the names and attach them to your next post. 

 

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Ok, but I need a couple of weeks, the courthouse is on the other side of town, and it takes nearly all day or a few days, to deal with that courthouse and the traffic in that part of town, additionally, I have some appts this week.  So I will return to this thread around that time.  Thanks for your patience.

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