DIFFERENT ANSWER FROM A QDRO EXPERT:
The Kaiser plan you are describing is a defined benefit pension plan. Under this type of plan, as an Alternate Payee under a QDRO, you cannot commence receiving your court-awarded share of the pension benefit until the plan Participant (your former spouse) attains “earliest retirement age” under the plan. For the Kaiser defined benefit pension plans, the “earliest retirement age” is age 55.
I am attaching a copy of the Kaiser QDRO procedures for both their Defined Benefit plans as well as their Defined Contribution plans.
Unfortunately, this is not something over which you or Court has any control. The question is determined by the terms of the Plan. The Plan will reject any QDRO that directs the Plan to provide any benefit or take any action that is not permitted under the terms of the Plan.
You will be able to commence receiving your court-award share of the pension benefit at any time after the Participant attains earliest retirement age as provided by the terms of the Plan. and this is true even if the Participant, upon attaining age 55, continues active employment and Plan participation. Also, should you decide to commence receipt of benefits at any time prior to the Participant’s “normal retirement age” -- age 65 -- under the Plan, your benefit will be adjusted and reduced in accordance with the Plan’s Early Retirement Reduction factors (just as his benefit would likewise be reduced were to commence receiving benefit prior to Norman Retirement Age.
NOTE: I realize that this answer may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.
LAWRENCE D. GORIN
Attorney at Law