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Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)

Last Updated August 11, 2011


A  qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) means a domestic relations order (DRO) which creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee's right to ( or assigns to an alternate payee the right to) receive all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under a plan, and  meets the following requirements:

It must clearly specify the following:

  1. the name and the last known mailing address (if any) of the participant and the name and mailing address of each alternate payee covered by the order,
  2. the amount or percentage of the participant's benefits to be paid by the plan to each such alternate payee, or the manner in which such amount or percentage is to be determined,
  3. the number of payments or period to which such order applies, and
  4. each plan to which such order applies.

And meet the following requirements

  • does not require a plan to provide any type or form of benefits, or any option, not otherwise provided under the plan,
  • does not require the plan to provide increased benefits (determined on the basis of actuarial value), and
  • does not require the payment of benefits to an alternate payee which are required to be paid to another alternate payee under another order previously determined to be a qualified domestic relations order.

QDROs are issued for qualified plans, 403(b) plans and 457 plans

Referring Cite

IRC §414(p)(1); ERISA §206(d)(3)(B)

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