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Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) includes teachers, state, county, and municipal employees, legislators, judges, and those who work for other public entities. In addition to active members, public sector retirees and their beneficiaries receive monthly benefits from the System. MainePERS also offers a group life insurance program to participants statewide.
MainePERS includes Benefits for Teachers, Benefits for State Employees, Benefits for Participating Local Districts, Benefits for Legislative Members, and the Judicial Retirement Program (Benefits for Judges and Justices).
The Systemís Board of Trustees is responsible for the operation of the System. The eight-member board includes members, retirees, and other experts in retirement, investment, and finance. The Board contracts with national actuarial and investment experts who assist the Board in managing the Systemís financial assets. Learn more by reading our FAQs below.
A. The qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) permits MainePERS to pay a party who is not the member, retiree, or beneficiary of the system. Unless the court enters an order that MainePERS determines is qualified, direct payment by MainePERS is not possible, even if the court awards an interest in the benefits to the non-member or retiree.
A. If the order does not meet all criteria, MainePERS will not accept it as a qualified order, and direct payment by MainePERS to the non-member or retiree spouse or former spouse is not permitted.
A. MainePERS does not require that MainePERS benefits be divided in a divorce. The court divides property according to the marital property laws of Maine. In some cases, the spouses prefer not to divide one party’s MainePERS benefits, for example, if both spouses have retirement plans of comparable value or if the MainePERS participant trades some other asset of similar worth in order to keep the entire amount of the MainePERS benefits. Both parties may benefit from tradeoffs, particularly when there were only a few years of service during the marriage and the member is many years away from retirement.
A. No. MainePERS payments are made only when the member spouse ends his or her employment, or applies for a benefit or refund, and his or her benefits become payable. MainePERS cannot make payment until an amount or benefit becomes payable to the MainePERS member, retiree, or beneficiary under applicable laws and rules (such as upon withdrawal, retirement, or death of the MainePERS member or retiree).
A. If MainePERS determines that the order is not a qualified order, the parties may return to court to obtain a revised order. If MainePERS does not receive an amended order, before the end of the 30 day appeal period, an order that it determines is qualified, MainePERS pays only the MainePERS member or retiree or beneficiary without further notification to the alternate payee when benefits become payable. The determination letter is the final notice to the former spouse that MainePERS cannot make any payment to him or her. The person receiving payment will then have the responsibility to pay the former spouse as directed by the court’s order.
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Read Our Article in thePA Family Lawyer
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