If I get divorced after retiring, canthe beneficary of mypensionbe changed tomy new spouse?

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If I get divorced after retiring, canthe beneficary of mypensionbe changed tomy new spouse?

I have been retired for 11 years and when I retired I set up my retirement so that my spouse would receive a portion of my retirement but since then we were divorced. I am getting remarried and would like to change my beneficiary to my new spouse. The company that I retired from says it isn’t possi.ble I would like to know for sure.

Asked on July 19, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek legal help with this in your area.  Were you represented by an attorney in the divorce proceeding?  I can not imagine that your retirement benefits were not dealt with in the divorce.  They would have been considered marital property for distribution and what generally happens is that the court orders that a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) be issued for the benefit portion to go to your ex.  Or maybe you bargained the pension benefit for something else.  I do not know without reading the agreement.  After that si determined one needs to read the plan benefits.  I am sure that if your ex has no right to the funds as per the court order then a change in the plan could be ordered.  But again, one would have to read both to be sure.  Get help.  Good luck.


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