What You Need to Know About a QDRO for Divorce in Pennsylvania
A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) requires a portion of a retirement plan to go to another person after a divorce, such as a spouse. Here’s everything you need to know to answer the question: what is a QDRO for divorce in Pennsylvania?
A QDRO facilitates an efficient asset allocation due to a divorce.
How does a QDRO work?
The attorney or an actuary will create a QDRO whenever a specified dollar amount or percentage of the retirement account assets will go to the other spouse, either by the parties’ agreement or court order. The QDRO will instruct the plan administrator to transfer funds immediately or, in the case of a pension, pay the receiving spouse a portion of the pension benefit when the paying spouse receives it.
Related: Pennsylvania Divorce FAQs
Both parties will sign the QDRO, stating the provisions of the QDRO represent the proper conditions established during the divorce procedures. Parties will file the QDRO with the judge after signing, and the judge will enter the QDRO as a formal Order. The QDRO will deliver to the retirement account’s plan administrator to process the retirement money once the judge signs the order.
What is the benefit of a QDRO?
Depending on your circumstances, the QDRO will specify the portion of your retirement plan that will transfer, who will receive it, and other details.
Are there other requirements a domestic relations order must meet to be a QDRO?
Certain provisions a QDRO must not contain include:
- The order cannot require a plan to provide an alternate payee or participant with any benefit form or any option not provided under the plan.
- The order cannot require a plan to provide increased benefits (based on actuarial value).
- The order cannot require a plan to pay benefits to an alternate payee under another order previously determined as a QDRO.
- The order cannot require a plan to pay benefits to an alternate payee in a “qualified joint and survivor annuity.”