Beneficiary Status Revoked Upon Divorce in South Dakota

September 28, 2007 ( - The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a man who was the beneficiary of his ex-wife's pension for three decades will not see any pension money because the couple was divorced, which revokes the beneficiary status under state law.

According to a news report from the Associated Press, Harold Storsve was the beneficiary of Linda Buchholz’s pension from the South Dakota Retirement System. The couple divorced in 1975, but she never changed his beneficiary status.

Buchholz died last year and the retirement system notified Storzve that he would get her pension.However, Walter Buchholz, Linda’s husband when she died, argued that he should get the money. The two were married in 1979.

The court rejected Storsve’s argument that he should get the benefits because she intended him to have them and agreed with Buchholz, citing a 1995 state law that states that a beneficiary to a will, trust or pension plan is revoked by divorce or annulment of a marriage unless otherwise specified.

The Supreme Court’s opinion is  here .