PBGC Updates Divorce Orders Pub

March 14, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued an update of its booklet, "Divorce Orders & PBGC."

The revised booklet (now titled ” Qualified Domestic Relations Orders & PBGC “), presents information on benefit options now offered by the PBGC as well as new model orders, such as a model order for providing child support. It also clarifies rules on when payments to an alternate payee may start.   It revises the guidance and model forms published in December 2003.

Most of the revisions are the result of PBGC’s operating experience and made to PBGC’s benefit payment rules, including:

  • An explanation of the “earliest PBGC retirement date,” which affects when a participant and payee can start receiving benefit payments (p. 18).
  • A description of PBGC’s benefit payment options (pp. 19 and 32).
  • A new model QDRO that may be used specifically for child support—the PBGC Model Child Shared Payment QDRO (Appendix D)—and a model QDRO that may be used for providing only a surviving spouse benefit—the PBGC Model Treat-as-Spouse QDRO (Appendix E).
  • Information on how to obtain certain participant information from PBGC (Appendix H).

The PBGC notes that the booklet provides general information to attorneys and other pension professionals on submitting domestic relations orders to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) after PBGC becomes trustee of a terminated pension plan. It also provides general information on the procedures PBGC follows to determine whether an order is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) for purposes of paying benefits under Title IV of ERISA.

Additional Information

For additional information, DOL’s publication QDROs —The Division of Pensions through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders is available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/qdros.html , or by calling the Employee Benefits Security Administration Hotline at 1-866-444-EBSA (3272). IRS Notice 97-11 (“Providing Sample Language for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order”) was published January 13, 1997, at 1997-2 I.R.B. 49 and appears in its entirety in Appendix C of DOL’s QDRO publication.