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 Fund, Annuity Fund and 401(k) Fund each have procedures for implementing any court orders which allocate the participant’s retirement benefits between the participant and former spouse (a “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” or “QDRO”). Copies of the Funds’ plan documents, summary plan descriptions and QDRO procedures can be obtained from the Fund Office by the attorney preparing the proposed QDRO. We suggest that the proposed QDRO be sent to the Fund Office prior to be filed with the court, so that it may be reviewed by Fund counsel.
- Your former spouse’s health insurance coverage will end as of the date your judgment of divorce is entered. Please notify the Fund office immediately upon entry of the judgment, since you may be held liable for any claims paid by the Health & Benefit Fund on behalf of your former spouse in error as a result of your failure to do so. Your former spouse cannot be covered as your Eligible Dependent. Your former spouse can, however, continue his/her coverage for up to 36 months after termination of coverage by electing COBRA continuation coverage.
- Review your designations of beneficiary for the 401(k) Fund, the Annuity Fund, the Health & Benefit Fund and the Pension Fund. Your designations of your (former) spouse as your beneficiary are not automatically revoked when your divorce becomes finalized.