CALPERS Retirement Benefits and Domestic Relations Orders (DROs)

by Norris Law Group on November 19, 2014

CALPERS Retirement Benefits and Domestic Relations Orders (DROs)The Huffington Post reports that more people are moving out of California than any other state, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Some of these ex-Californians may be moving to the Mountain West for the natural beauty and active lifestyle available in states like Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. But moving from one state to another means that “expats” from California may need to get used to the differences in how each state is run, in addition to knowing what requirements follow them from California to their new homes.

One consideration that divorced Californians may need to keep in mind is that those with retirement plans through the California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS) may face a request for part of their retirement benefits from an ex-spouse. While CALPERS is a fairly traditional retirement plan, it has its own set of rules and regulations.

Typically, if an ex-spouse wants to claim eligibility for a former spouse’s retirement plan, he or she would do so through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO. A QDRO is “qualified” under the auspices of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). But CALPERS is not bound by the rules of ERISA, and only requires a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) when a claim to retirement funds is made by a former spouse of a CALPERS retiree.

In short, DROs under CALPERS are a little different than QDROs. A skilled family law attorney with experience in drafting QDROs and DROs can help you understand the type of order that may best suit your situation.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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