MERCK US PENSION PLAN is a DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN. A defined benefit plan is traditionally referred to as a "pension plan." This type of plan typically provides participants with a monthly retirement benefit upon reaching a specific age for either a specific period of time, or for the Participant’s lifetime, depending upon the form of benefits offered by the plan and selected by the Participant. Benefits paid at the time of retirement are calculated using a formula based upon years of "credited service" and the Participant’s compensation information. Benefits are generally payable to a participant upon reaching "normal retirement age" for the remainder of the Participant's lifetime. Benefits accumulated under defined benefit plans are often referred to as "accrued benefits". It is rare, but some plans may allow for a lump sum payment of benefits instead of a monthly payment. The type of benefits available may vary significantly from plan to plan.
With this type of plan, the Alternate Payee is usually not awarded a lump sum cash payment from the plan. Rather, the Alternate Payee’s award is typically made in terms of a monthly benefit payable for either the lifetime of the Participant (a "shared payment") or the lifetime of the Alternate Payee (a "separate interest"). When dividing a defined benefit plan, it is critical to know the types of benefits available under the terms of the applicable plan. Additionally, the retirement of the Participant prior to the entry of a QDRO will typically limit the Alternate Payee to receiving only a portion of the Participant’s benefits based upon the election made at the Participant’s benefit commencement. This includes beneficiary designations and "surviving spouse" benefits.
Features of the MERCK US PENSION PLAN may include:
- Benefits accrued under this Plan are primarily pay related
- This Plan is in the nature of a “Cash Balance” or similar plan, meaning that the Plan has a “cash balance” formula for determining benefits. For this purpose, a “cash balance” formula is a benefit formula in a defined benefit plan by whatever name (for example, personal account plan, pension equity plan, life cycle plan, cash account plan, etc.) that rather than, or in addition to, expressing the accrued benefit as a life annuity commencing at normal retirement age, defines benefits for each employee in terms more common to a defined contribution plan such as a “single sum distribution amount” (for example, 10 percent of final average pay times years of service, or the amount of the employee’s hypothetical account balance).
- This Plan is known as a “Floor-offset” plan and is designed to offset for retirement benefits provided by an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan.
- This Plan contains separate accounts under Code section 401(h) to provide employee health benefits.
The Plan features and descriptions presented are provided only as examples and
descriptions a particular type of plan. Participants and Alternate Payees should
review the applicable Summary Plan Description for a detailed description of the
specific terms and options for the specific Plan in question.
The information provided on this page is based upon the most recent Plan tax filings
available. The terms of a specific plan may have changed since the most recently
available tax filing, and as a result, these descriptions and features may not be
current. QDRO.com makes no representations as to accuracy of these
QDRO.com is neither the administrator, nor a
of this Plan. QDRO.com provides this information merely as a courtesy and makes no
warranties as to the current status or accuracy of these descriptions.