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The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) is a government plan that is exempt from the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) law of the 1984 Retirement Equity Act.
PERA now pays pension benefits directly to the former spouse of a PERA member, but prior to a law enacted Aug.1, 1987 PERA only made payments to PERA members.
PERA’s Coordinated, Correctional and Police and Fire plans are defined benefit plans, not defined contribution plans, so members earn a retirement or disability benefit based on a formula using the worker’s allowable service credit, highest five years’ average salary and age when the benefit begins.
When a pension is divided, the money in the worker’s account is not transferred into a separate account for the former spouse; the funds remain in the worker’s account. Learn more by reading our FAQs below.
Consists of Eleven Retirement Plans:
A. Depending on the divorce decree, a spouse may be awarded a portion of the pension benefits.
A. No, PERA does not offer advice, but it will work with an attorney to develop language that can be administered by PERA.
A. No. PERA payments are made only when the member spouse ends his employment, or applies for a benefit or refund, and his or her benefits become payable.
A. If the member decides on monthly payments, the former spouse must accept the same payment regime.
A. PERA requires a certified copy of the marriage dissolution or separate order dividing the PERA pension (or a temporary retraining order preventing the application for a refund) before dividing the monthly pension.
A. No. A pension benefit cannot be revoked or changed. For example, if a former spouse is named survivor, payments continue to him or her after the member’s death.
A. Yes. A portion of the pension benefits may be granted as a permanent division of marital property in lieu of liquid assets; therefore, upon the former spouse’s death, payments continue to the estate until the death of the member spouse.
A. Direct payments were not permitted until mid-1987. PERA, therefore, does not have the authority to make such payments if the divorce decree was filed before Aug.1, 1987. To make direct payments under this condition, an amended decree must be filed. Otherwise the member spouse must make direct payments to his or her former spouse.
A. Yes, but the decree must be filed in Minnesota before PERA can administer it.
A. No. Under Minnesota law, the marriage dissolution decree revokes the designation of the spouse as beneficiary. If the divorce decree requires that a former spouse be designated a beneficiary, the member must complete a PERA Change Form.
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Read Our Article in thePA Family Lawyer
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