Please wait...
What information is an administrator required to provide a prospective alternate payee before the administrator receives a domestic relations order?
Congress conditioned an alternate payee’s right to an assignment of a participant’s retirement benefit on the prospective alternate payee’s obtaining a domestic relations order that satisfies specific informational and other requirements. It is the view of the Department that Congress therefore intended prospective alternate payees -- spouses, former spouses, children, and other dependents of a participant who are involved in a domestic relations proceeding -- to have access to plan and participant benefit information sufficient to prepare a QDRO. Such information might include the summary plan description, relevant plan documents, and a statement of the participant’s benefit entitlements.

The Department believes that Congress did not intend to require prospective alternate payees to submit a domestic relations order to the plan as a prerequisite to establishing the prospective alternate payee’s rights to information in connection with a domestic relations proceeding. However, it is the view of the Department that a plan administrator may condition disclosure of such information on a prospective alternate payee’s providing information sufficient to reasonably establish that the disclosure request is being made in connection with a domestic relations proceeding.

It is the Department’s understanding that many domestic relations orders fail initially to qualify when submitted to the plan because they fail to take into account the plan’s provisions or the participant’s actual benefit entitlements. Affording prospective alternate payees access to plan and participant information in a timely manner will, in the view of the Department, help drafters avoid making such obvious errors in preparing orders and, thereby, facilitate plan administration.

Reference: [ERISA §§ 206(d)(3)(A) - (C), 404(a); IRC § 414(p)(1) - (3)]


Get your QDRO done in 1-3 business days. No hidden costs!

Unlimited revisions until the QDRO is accepted by the Plan Administrator and the court