Ex-wife's Pension Share Not Lessened by New Wife's Survivor's Benefits

May 19, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Virginia appellate court rejected a man's claim that the civil service pensions due to his former wife should be reduced by the cost of providing survivor benefits to his new wife.

The court upheld the district court’s entering of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)  – which uses pension or retirement benefits for alimony or child support, or to divide marital property upon divorce – and said that the lower court was right in refusing to deduct the benefits Frederick Recker Jr. owed to his former wife.

Recker remarried before his retirement, so when he retired, his new wife was entitled to survivor benefits, which trimmed down his monthly benefits substantially.

Also upon his retirement, Recker’s ex-wife requested a QDRO that entitled her to half of his pension. Recker claimed that the divorce decree that granted his ex-wife half of his “gross retirement annuity benefits (prior to any deduction therefrom)” only entitled her to a 50% share after the survivor benefits to his new wife were taken out.

The appeals court rejected that claim.

For the full opinion go  here .