Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
When you receive a domestic relations order, you must determine if it is qualified. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal document that acknowledges the right of an alternate payee (e.g., spouse, former spouse, child) to receive all or a portion of the benefits payable to a plan participant. As Plan Administrator, you are responsible for developing written procedures for processing QDROs.
In the chart below you will find some necessary steps for processing a domestic relations order. The Department of Labor (DOL) has information available on QDROs through its Internet site at www.dol.gov/ebsa.
|Steps for Processing a QDRO||Plan Participant’s Role||Plan Administrator’s Role||The Program’s Role|
|1. Provide documentation of domestic relations order to Plan Administrator||√|
|2. Notify participant and alternate payee that order was received and of plan’s procedure for making QDRO determination||√|
|3. Instruct the Program to secure amounts payable to alternate payee||√|
|4. The Program places hold on participant’s account||√|
|5. Determine if order is a QDRO||√|
|6. Notify participant and alternate payee of determination of order; for the alternate payee attach a copy of the summary plan description; notify Program if the QDRO not qualified to allow for release of the hold on the account||√|
|7. If qualified, complete Qualified Domestic Relations Order Review Sheet (and SDBA Application if applicable) (and Distribution Request Form if alternate payee wants an immediate distribution||√|
|8. Mail QDRO and QDRO Review Sheet Form to the Program||√|
|9. Process Form QDRO Review Sheet Form||√|
|10. Send confirmation notice to participant and to alternate payee||√|