Free Resource for Oregon Family Law Attorneys Relating to Divisions of PERS Accounts

Free Resource for Oregon Family Law Attorneys Relating to Divisions of PERS Accounts

Regardless of whether your client is on the paying end or the receiving end of an assignment in the division of an Oregon PERS account, there are new things to be aware of when devising your strategy. Recent changes at PERS have complicated what in the past had been simple choices. The potential for error is very much present because the path to optimal treatment for your client can be counter-intuitive. Some of these choices must be faced at the time of the Marital Settlement Agreement or the General Judgment. QDRO time may be too late. Attorney’s Guide to Dealing With Oregon PERS Accounts in Divorce Written by David Gault, CPA & QDRO Specialist, Jones & Roth Read...
Don’t Let Your General Judgment Language Impair the QDRO

Don’t Let Your General Judgment Language Impair the QDRO

By David Gault Insufficient instruction in the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) or in the General Judgment (GJ) can cause a QDRO to deliver less than your client should have. QDROs address a number of important peripheral entitlements associated with the interest conveyed to the non-participant spouse, the “Alternate Payee”. It is the responsibility of counsel for the alternate payee to maximize the quantity and quality of the entitlements transferred, and the responsibility of counsel for the plan participant to minimize what his or her client forfeits in the process. A QDRO is required to effectuate an award from an ERISA-governed retirement plan, be that a defined benefit pension plan or a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k). Technically, the GJ can itself constitute a QDRO, but only if it contains all of the elements required by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code applicable to QDROs. In practice, however, most QDROs are prepared in the form of a separate Order (in Oregon labeled a “Supplemental Judgment”). It is generally conceded that due to the complexity of QDRO issues, competent QDRO drafting requires the services of a specialist. In Oregon, there appear to be about a dozen active specialists. Sometimes a specialist is consulted prior to entry of the GJ, but more often the specialist is handed an entered judgment. That judgment often contains language that either inadvertently, or by design, limits what the QDRO can do. The more common condition is that the GJ or MSA language tends to be quite brief, with minimal detail about how the conveyed benefit is to be calculated or the rights or entitlements...