Public Retirement Plan Lawyers and QDRO Specialists

There Are More Restrictions On Public Retirement Plans Than On Those Covered By ERISA

Retirement plans issued by state and local governments, public services and municipalities fall under a different set of rules than those covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As a family law attorney, you need to understand these differences when preparing the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) or your client may end up with considerably less than he or she anticipated once the plan matures. This can lead to serious problems and wind up with a professional malpractice suit filed against you.

To avoid these difficulties, have your client's QDRO prepared by experienced lawyers and QDRO specialists with extensive training in the correct drafting of these documents. At QDRO Preparations, LLC, our team knows the many frustrations clients and attorneys all over the country experience when dealing with QDROs. We can help you avoid these pitfalls and help your client get the full benefit from the retirement funds allotted to him or her in the divorce decree.

Differences In Public Vs. Private Retirement Plans

Public employees have many differences in their retirement plans that need to be taken into consideration when dividing the marital property. If you do not understand these differences, your client may be very frustrated with the results of his or her QDRO when the participant retires.

Concerns include:

  • Benefits are not paid until the participant actually retires, instead of at the earliest available retirement age.
  • Benefits are paid for the lifetime of the participant upon retirement — If the participant predeceases the alternate payee, before or after retirement, the alternate payee will no longer receive payments.
  • Certain plans will allow for the participant to choose a survivor annuity, but this precludes the participant from being able to pass this benefit on to another spouse if he or she remarries.
  • Some plans do not allow for court orders requiring distribution of benefits to alternate payees.

Our firm provides the information from plan administrators prior to your drafting of the settlement agreement or court hearing. This allows you to include all of the pertinent language in the final divorce decree. It also helps you determine what portions of the marital property can and cannot be divided.

Give Your Client The Best Representation By Trusting The QDRO To Us

Call our office in Birmingham, Alabama, at 205-704-2701 or contact us online to talk with us about your clients' needs.