Plan Administrator's Guide

Importance of Written QDRO Procedures | Receipt of an Executed QDRO
Timing Requirements for Determining Qualified Status of an Order
Segregation of Plan Benefits While QDRO Process Is Pending | When an Order Does Not Qualify as a QDRO
Once a QDRO is Qualified | What if the Participant Dies Before the Order is Qualified?
What Happens if the Alternate Payee Dies?

Importance of Written QDRO Procedures

Internal Revenue Code Section 414(p)(6)(B) requires all ERISA-governed plans to establish reasonable procedures for the determination of the qualified status of domestic relations orders. However, the vast majority of plans simply have bare-bones QDRO procedures that are quite often nothing more than a verbatim two-page recital of Code Section 414(p). They really do not address all of the important issues that plans should consider when reviewing QDROs. For example, how does your company handle the following QDRO situations?

Because there is very little regulation in the area of QDROs, courts look to a company's written QDRO administration procedures when handling disputes between the plan and participants or alternate payees. In other words, a comprehensive administration manual (e.g., the QDRO Compliance Manual) can actually help reduce your company's liability exposure in the area of QDROs.