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Divorce or Dissolution

Notify the Board of Pensions as soon as possible about a divorce or dissolution of a marriage or a qualified domestic partnership. The Board will update your records and provide you with benefits information to assist with the process.

Read the Board's Divorce or Dissolution Booklet

The Benefits Plan and Divorce or Dissolution of a Marriage or Qualified Domestic Partnership: A Guide for Members and Covered Partners describes the effects this event can have on an individual’s benefits from the plan. The booklet also includes sample court orders that will assist your counsel in preparing an appropriate domestic relations order to assign part of your pension and survivor’s pension benefits to your former spouse, if applicable.

Gather and Send Key Documents

As soon as possible, you should:

  • notify the Board of new addresses for you, your former spouse, and/or children (if applicable);
  • complete a new Beneficiary Designation form, if applicable;
  • inform the Board of changes to coverage for eligible family members;
  • send a draft of any court order dividing your pension and other benefits, and obtain the Board’s approval prior to submission of the document to the courts.

To process your divorce and assess the status of your benefits, the Board of Pensions requires you to submit certain documents. As soon as possible, please send copies of your:

  • court order stating the date of termination of the marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership;
  • domestic relations order (if applicable), which establishes your former spouse's legal right to receive a designated percentage of your qualified plan account balance or benefits payments;
  • qualified medical child support order (if applicable), which requires you to provide medical, dental, and vision coverage to a child who might not otherwise be covered.

Understand Effects on Your Pension Benefit

Divorce and dissolution of a marriage or qualified domestic partnership may affect how pension benefits are paid. Members should be aware that:

  • pension and survivor benefits cannot be paid to a former spouse unless the Board of Pensions has accepted a court order assigning a portion of the benefit to the former spouse (a domestic relations order or DRO);
  • pre-approval by the Board of Pensions of any court order is required;
  • if the court order so provides, an alternate payee (spouse, former spouse, or other dependent) may begin to receive assigned retirement benefits any time after the member reaches the earliest retirement age allowed under the plan.