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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer.
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I have a QDRO in a divorce case with Kaiser, I want to get

Customer Question

I have a QDRO in a divorce case with Kaiser, I want to get my 50% of the pension fund, when I submitted the QDRO to kaiser they said I have to wait until my ex retires. I don't want to wait what do I do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hope I made sense. I have an QDRO order saying I get 50% of my ex's pension. when I submitted this information kaiser said I have to wait until he retires. I do not want to wait, how do I proceed.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Some retirement/pension plans do have provisions to make the funds payable under a QDRO’s available as soon as they approve the QDRO. For example, if the plan being divided is an IRA or a Federal Thrift Savings Plan, then the funds may be withdrawn immediately. Many 401(k), 403(b), 457 and ESOP plans also permit immediate withdrawal. However, other plans will not make the funds available until after the employee actually retires, or at least attains the earliest retirement age allowed by the plan which in some cases may be as low as 50.

So to see if you can get a distribution now, you will need to obtain the Plan information and look to see what it states in that regard. The plan administrator for Kaiser may or may not be accurate.

Note: Most follow-up questions are answered with in the hour; however, if I am not signed on, please allow up to 24 hours. If we are done, please assign a feedback rating so Just Answer will compensate me. Thank you.

Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 1 year ago.


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.

Attorney at Law

Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 1 year ago.

Hello..... Your positive "rating" as to the information provided would be appreciated. Keep in mind the rating is based on the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, not on whether the information is favorable to your particular legal position. Thank you.