A Qualified Domestic Relations Order or “QDRO” is a court order which assigns all or part of one spouse’s (or former spouse’s) interest in a pension, 401(k) or other qualified plan to another spouse or former spouse. The transfer can be to satisfy an obligation as a transfer of martial property, alimony, or child support.
Qualified Domestic Relationship Orders (QDROs)
For a domestic relations order to Qualify as a QDRO under ERISA it must contain the following information:
- The name and last known mailing address of the participant and each alternate payee
- The name of each plan to which the order applies
- The dollar amount or percentage (or the method of determining the amount or percentage) of the benefit to be paid to the alternate payee
- The number of payments or time period to which the order applies
The administrator of the retirement plan is the individual (or entity) initially responsible for determining whether a domestic relations order is a QDRO. Plan administrators are required to follow the plan’s procedures for determining whether the QDRO qualifies. The administrator must also furnish notice to spouse and former spouse of the receipt of a domestic relations order and to furnish a copy of the plan’s procedures for determining the qualified status or such orders.