Divorce Tips Database

Pension Value Variables

By: Marvin Snyder

The value of a pension for immediate offset in equitable distribution is subject to many variables. This paper addresses only defined benefit pension plans, but the subject includes plans of private businesses, corporations, partnerships, as well as public, government, and military plans, and whether or not covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Here is a checklist of variables that may be considered:

  • Employee sex
  • Employee age
  • Spouse sex
  • Spouse age
  • Date of marriage
  • Cut-off date for marital property
  • Separation, Complaint, Hearing, Decree
  • Date of plan entry
  • Employment and plan status
  • Active, Terminated with Vesting, Retired
  • Employee category
  • Executive, Management, Salaried, Hourly, Union
  • General health status
  • Normal, Light Disability, Heavy Disability
  • Plan definition of service
  • Plan definition of pay
  • Plan definition of normal retirement age
  • Plan definition of early retirement age
  • Plan vesting requirements
  • Pre-retirement death benefits in the plan
  • Post-retirement death benefits in the plan
  • Cost-of-living pension increases
  • Normal form of pension
  • Employee contributions
  • Early retirement reductions or enhancements
  • Special window early retirement incentive
  • Will plan accept qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) or the equivalent?
  • Is taxation to be considered?
  • Is remarriage or cohabitation to be considered?
  • What source material is available:
    • Plan Document, Plan Booklet (Summary Plan Description)
    • Benefit Statements, Correspondence from Employer
  • Valuation date
  • Immediate offset versus deferred distribution
  • Availability of expert witness

For more information on any of the above items, or any other questions on the Value of pensions in divorce, buy the book, by Marvin Snyder: Value of Pensions in Divorce, Second Edition, 1992, Wiley Law Publications, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919.

PAC provides pension valuations, QDROs and actuarial reports for divorce attorneys and marriage dissolution mediators nationwide. Our Philadelphia offices are located in the suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, from where we serve the needs of legal professionals nationally, including east coast states such as New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Our Florida office located in Coral Gables, FL serves Florida family attorneys.
Pension Analysis Consultants, Inc.

Contact Us For Specific Information About Your Case:

P.O. BOX 7107
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Phone: (215) 782-9845

(800) 288-3675

Fax: (215) 782-9852

Mark K. Altschuler President

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