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  1. #1
    Myleswest is offline Junior Member
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    Can I change my Beneficiary?

    New York


    I am about to start receiving my Pension...but I was told that my ex-wife from more than 8 years ago, [the same woman that took everything I had], was my appointed beneficiary on the pension plan!
    When I inquired how I can change that....I was told that because she was listed as my beneficiary when the Court signed the Divorce Decree...It must stay the way it is, with all my benefits going to her if I should die!
    Does anyone out there know if this is true? And if I truly can not change this, what would happen if she were to die first? Who would be my beneficiary then???? I have two daughters by an earlier marriage and I would like to see that they receive any benefits!
    I can not afford a lawyer right now so any opinion or advice would be greatly appreciated.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Who told you that?
  3. #3
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Not having read your divorce decree, I can't say.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  4. #4
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Not having read your divorce decree, I can't say.
    Wouldn't matter if you did. It's irrelevant. ERISA controls here not state law or any divorce decree.
  5. #5
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Not once she's an ex-wife, it doesn't.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    actually I believe ERISA does apply but for Dave's benefit, read this:

    [url=http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/qdros.html]QDROs: The Division of Retiremen Benefits Through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders[/url]
  7. #7
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    I understood the poster to be talking about a beneficiary, not an Alternate Payee. He most certainly cannot change the AP, but unless court ordered he CAN change the beneficiary, at least as far as the law is concerned. I will grant that there may be language in the QDRO, assuming there is a QDRO and I think that's a safe assumption, that says otherwise. The AP and the beneficiary are not necessarily the same person.

    I just dealt with an issue of this type last week.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    ERISA also addresses ex-spouses as surviving beneficiaries as well so, even under the (most likely correct) assumption the question is concerning a surviving beneficiary, ERISA could very well apply and it still does allow for an ex spouse to be allowed to be required to be maintained as the surviving beneficiary.


    Basically, Dave is still wrong in his assumption that ERISA would necessarily overrule a divorce decree and that was what I was addressing.
  9. #9
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Were some of these accruals subsequent to the divorce? WHAT exactly does the decree order to her?

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