Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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Could you tell me if this is a employers defined benefit plan or employee contribution plan(401K) (403B)?
Would you mind naming the employer just so I can see if I can find some specifics on this as this will be driven more by their rules than NY statute?
The reality in the case of you passing leaving surviving spouse she may or may not be entitled to a survivor's portion or allowance these are all defined within the plan that you participate in at work. It is easier to answer in regards ***** ***** employee contribution plan then she would be named as beneficary and she takes it all. I have attached a BLS study that confirms these details. I am sorry I can't give you a better answer, but since this is left to be defined within the employer's plan I can't fully answer the question other than to say get a copy of your defined benefits plan and review the section if there is one related to surviving spouse. You might glance at this and I recognize this is not the law, but it shows the fact that as to how defined plans are not consistent in the treatment of surviving spouses and I recognize it is quite dated as it goes back to 1981 http://www.bls.gov/mlr/1984/04/art3full.pdf . Many employers have moved away from defined benefit plans due to the future liability on the accounting side (how it affects their company balance sheet) and move to the employee contribution plans as employees have also become leary of the defined plans and what happens if the company files bankruptcy so to attract employees they have converted or began their companies using the employee contribution plan with the employer making some contribution to that plan. I am not trying to school you on the plans, but just answer your question.
If you can identify the employer I may be able to located the information online and provide you a more specific answer or as I said you may have to request a copy paying particular attention to surviving spouse benefits. I am stepping away from the computer for a dinner appt. it is 5:40 PM CST here. I should be back online around 8:00 PM CST if not earlier and can respond to your reply. If you don't log on tonight note that I will be back online tomorrow after 3:30 PM CST and happy to respond at that time as well.
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I am back online if you wish to continue or as an FYI tomorrow I have court and won't be online until after 3:30 PM CST. Just mentioned that ahead to explain any delay you see in my response.