Life Event - Divorce
There are many issues that need to be considered during the process of getting a divorce. The following checklist may be of help to simplify the necessary steps you need to take in regard to your benefit plans.
- The Pension and Retirement Savings Plans are mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant's pension benefit. The legal name for the order which must be approved and filed with both the pension plan and the court is Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced kwadro).
- The attorney who will draft the QDRO will probably wish to obtain a copy of the summary plan descriptions and the QDRO procedures. Send an email to the Plan Office to request that these documents be mailed to the attorney.
- Since your family status changes as the result of a divorce, you need to notify the Plan Office within 60 days after the divorce becomes final. The office will notify your ex-spouse of any continuing health coverage options under COBRA. You will have to submit a copy of the final divorce decree to finalize changes to your benefits.
- You will want to review your designation of beneficiary for all three Plans. Your Designations of your spouse as Beneficiary under the Pension and Retirement Savings Plans are automatically revoked when a divorce becomes finalized.
Financial planners recommend that persons undergoing a divorce should review and update a number of personal plans and documents. Here is a checklist of some items which you may need to update, revise, or consider: