Tag Archives: defined benefit plan

A thorny divorce problem: Splitting defined benefit plans

What is the best method for splitting a defined benefit plan in a divorce?

Qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) are used to divide qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and defined benefit plans. Most often, defined benefit plans are available to workers in fields, such as teaching, military service, state and local government and manufacturing. There are two methods that can be used in a QDRO to split a defined benefit plan: shared interest or separate interest. The spouses will have conflicting objectives and it is important to review the options carefully. These methods are described in detail here.