Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

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Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby NJdad76 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:48 am

We need to calculate a QDRO for wife's pension.

We agreed on 50/50.

I don't want a payout. I want to get checks when I retire and if possible partial benefits.

So I need some solid professional advice on how to get the most.

This is in NJ and her's is a teachers pension.

These are my main questions:
1. Does it matter, as far as my eventual award, who does the QDRO?
2. Should I expect the teachers state pension to offer me partial health insurance on retirement or will I need to fight?
3. Can I negotiate that I can continue to contribute to it on a monthly basis?
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Re: Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby BrilliantBastard » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:04 pm

You just get the money part and not the health insurance or other benefits. If the pension system has family benefits (fairly rare?) you would not be married when she retires, her husband at the time may qualify. Its always best to talk to the Pension system about the QDRO. They often have a template they want you to follow. It would not be abnormal for them to charge a reasonable fee if you use the template or a higher fee (or per hour legal charge) if you do something custom. It's all like you will end up paying less to have it drafted, and less of a chance it gets rejected.
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Re: Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby hoosier_dad » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:08 pm

Why is determining a value for a payout not an option for you? It's a fairly simple matter to get a professional net present day valuation of your share and it cuts off the ongoing financial entanglement with your ex.
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Re: Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby NJdad76 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:47 pm

hoosier_dad wrote:Why is determining a value for a payout not an option for you? It's a fairly simple matter to get a professional net present day valuation of your share and it cuts off the ongoing financial entanglement with your ex.


My understanding is that once the QDRO is done and a few more steps are followed I have essentially my own pension set up that she has no access to.
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Re: Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby FlyGuySLO » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:49 am

Correct. A QDRO simply divides an existing plan that is in one Party's name into shares for each Party and calculates what community property interests vs. separate property interests are. In the end you will each have your own pension.
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Re: Who do I talk to about state pension QDROs? Experts?

Unread postby TeflonDad » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:51 pm

However, your pension will be tied up in her employer's plan and you will not get any ongoing contributions or bumps as she continues working there.

Essentially, your share is "frozen" at the time of the QDRO and that money is also locked up in that plan (limited to its investment choices and defined benefits). You may want to move that money to an IRA or your employer's plan. If you're in a job that just happens to be part of the same plan (e.g. state plan) you may get benefit from cumulative years contributing to the pension. This is true for many government pensions - you only contribute when your in, but if you leave and come back, the effect is cumulative for the plan.

The QDRO is the court order for the plan administrator to transfer ownership of assets/funds from one taxpayer to another (SSN #).

There may be some liquidation/selling of assets in the plan to convert it to cash since only cash is ever transferred. i.e. you can't transfer shares of stock or mutual fund or bond holdings. Some portion will be sold to arrive at the cash needed, and then they will write a check. They will have choices about what you want them to do with the check - fund your new spousal account within the plan, or send it to some other qualified account (IRA, 401K, etc.), or to you, minus the standard withholding/penalty. Be careful with that if they do, since you have to come up with that money yourself to "top off" the deposit into the new account - and you have to wait until you file your taxes to get it back.
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