Retirement assets may be the most valuable assets in a marital estate, yet few attorneys pay them more than passing attention. Competent representation requires that the attorney understand the various types of retirement plans, as well as their limitations.
This course, presented by attorney Elizabeth McMahon, a preeminent attorney specializing in the field of drafting QDROs for more than twenty years, will discuss what information must be addressed in a separation agreement or memorandum of decision to effectively divide retirement assets. The discussion will highlight the differences between 1) a defined benefit (traditional pension and cash balance pension plans) and defined contribution plans (savings plans); 2) a shared interest and a separate interest; and 3) the private employer and state or government plan.
Specifically, in regard to defined contribution plans, she will discuss the Connecticut Appellate Court’s decision in Kremenitzer v. Kremenitzer and the manner in which it pertains to adjustments for gains and losses on a savings plan division. In regard to traditional defined benefit plans, she will cover the need to secure survivor benefits on non-qualified pension plans such as the Federal Employees Retirement System, State (of Connecticut) Employee Retirement System, Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement Board, Railroad Tier II, and the MTA. The course will examine the benefits and pitfalls of aggregating and offsetting different plans, and will cover certain IRAs that should be left alone whenever possible.