DIVTIPS QDRO Alert: PSERS and SERS Will Now Accept QDROs
By: Marvin Snyder
In their June 1992 meeting the Pennsylvania Board that manages the Public School Employes' Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employes' Retirement System (SERS) voted to accept court orders to divide pensions in divorce cases. This marks a significant departure from their previous position which refused to assign or attach an employee's pension for equitable distribution in marital dissolution.
These retirement systems will now follow the case of Millick v. Millick, 592 A.2d 788 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991).
The court order awarding a portion of the pension to the divorced spouse will not be a "qualified" domestic relations order because these plans are not subject to ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act), but it will be a domestic relations order without the word "qualified" appearing. If the pension award fits within the parameters of the retirement system it will be followed.
These retirement systems have indicated that they prefer to receive proposed orders in draft form to allow for comments. Counsel for the retirement systems in Harrisburg will be cooperative in providing guidance in the acceptable form that an order should take.
We at PAC are available to provide draft orders for attorneys in family practice at our standard fee rates. Call for details.