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The Plan will not care.  The Plan is concerned with the specific QDRO requirements as outlined in IRC 414(p), and with making sure the requested form, timing, and amount of payment are permitted under the terms of the plan document.

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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The Plan DOES care then the parties were married.  In order to compute the Alternate Payee's share in a shared interest allocation of benefits, the Plan needs to to know the date of the marriage and the date of the divorce in order to compute the numerator of the coverture fraction used in what is called the "time rule" in many states, and the Bangs/Pleasant formula is Maryland where Jack's case is pending.

In a separate interst allocation of benefits the same information is necessary for the Plan to define the Alternate Payee's separate interest. 

In both cases the Plan will have the date the Participant started to accrue creditable service in the Plan and the date of the Participant's retirement and then will do the math.   

You have said that you had a common law marriage.  In what state and when was that common law marriage performed?  Were common law marriages approved in the state at the time you were  married.  If so, then pursuant to Maryland law that marriage will be accepted as valid in Maryland even though Maryland did away with common law marriage decades ago.  See  Harrison v. Harrison, 199 Md. 449 (1952).

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I agree with David Rigby that the plan does not care about the dates of marriage, as such. If the plan does not get an adequate description of how to determine the interests, by periods (bounded by dates) to determine fractions or by simple numbers as multipliers and dividers, then the order will not qualify. No  reference to the dates of marriage are required by the plan. The plan makes no judgment or computation based on its understanding of the duration of the marriage; it does not need an understanding of the duration of the marriage. It just needs to be able to do some arithmetic before turning to the actuarial aspects. Providing the dates of marriage does not tell the plan how to divide the benefit.

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2 hours ago, QDROphile said:

I agree with David Rigby that the plan does not care about the dates of marriage, as such. If the plan does not get an adequate description of how to determine the interests, by periods (bounded by dates) to determine fractions or by simple numbers as multipliers and dividers, then the order will not qualify. No  reference to the dates of marriage are required by the plan. The plan makes no judgment or computation based on its understanding of the duration of the marriage; it does not need an understanding of the duration of the marriage. It just needs to be able to do some arithmetic before turning to the actuarial aspects. Providing the dates of marriage does not tell the plan how to divide the benefit.

I'm a bit confused, I thought providing the dates of marriage would allow the plan to calculate the Marital Pension to be divided? Am I incorrect?

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3 minutes ago, Jack Stevenson said:

I'm a bit confused, I thought providing the dates of marriage would allow the plan to calculate the Marital Pension to be divided.  Am I incorrect?

Why is it the task of the Plan Administrator to calculate the fraction?

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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1 minute ago, david rigby said:

Why is it the task of the Plan Administrator to calculate the fraction?

If the Participant has not yet retired as of the date of the filing, wouldn't you need to include the Months of marriage and direct the Plan Administrator to divide the months of marriage with the months of employments?

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