How are Retirement Assets Divided in a Divorce?
Filing for a divorce can be emotionally difficult, and it often triggers financial challenges. In addition to dealing with shared assets such as a home, retirement plans may be the next largest asset that divorcing spouses need to address. Dividing retirement assets can have tax implications. It also may mean you need to work longer to replace retirement savings and dividing your retirement assets may be required by the court.
No matter the situation, the legal process can be complicated. To divide your PERA retirement, you will need a valid Domestic Relations Order submitted to PERA within a specific timeframe. You also will have to submit a divorce decree once it is entered by the court. For details on what must be provided to PERA and what happens to your PERA account, visit Divorce/Domestic Relations Orders.
Learning as much as you can about what is required is the best thing you can do. PERA offers resources such as the PERA Benefits and Divorce booklet to explain how retirement benefits will be handled. The booklet covers which PERA benefit plans are subject to Domestic Relations Order procedures.
PERA cannot provide legal or other advice regarding the domestic relations order. PERA can provide information, calculations and education concerning how each PERA benefit plan operates so the parties may have a better understanding of how a domestic relations order might function should they elect to enter into an agreement.