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Can I hold the California Ironworkers Pension Trust Fund responsible for not adhering to there policies/due process?

After 37 years Ex-spouse applied for early retirement Oct 2013. Did not provide any divorce documentation or settlement agreement required by the FUND. Additionally, submitted a fraudulent QDRO to the FUND noting only 4 years of marriage not 11 years and put his mothers address as my "alternate payee's" last known mailing address.
The FUND or "plan administrator" tentatively approved the QDRO .
The Plans Staff has not been cooperative at all.
Even after I mailed copy of a Joinder filed and approved by the court.

Oct 26, 2014 by Jean from Antioch, CA in  |  Flag
2 Answers  |  5 Followers
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4 votes
John Essigman Level 17

Hi Jean,

Very sorry to hear about your divorce and this just adds to the pain.

First thing is that I am a financial advisor and not an attorney… So, I would recommend that you contact an attorney who specializes in pension law.

Short of this, suggest you speak directly with a manager at the pension trust. It is highly unlikely that they will admit to anything give that they are liable for any improper distributions. Proceed with submitting your requests and communication in writing with return receipts. Demand an answer. If you are not satisfied then contact the Department of Labor and file a complaint with the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 27, 2014 from Cleveland, GA

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Tunc Tanin Level 10

You should get an attorney like John has suggested. The number of years on the QDRO order could be incorrect that does not mean it is fraudulent. There is great confusion in case law as to how the number of years in marriage is calculated and how years of service is split and when the QDRO order actually goes into effect. There is disagreement and conflicting practices everywhere. If you are accusing your spouse of getting benefits that were not part of the original court agreement, you would need an attorney to fight this back. Your ex-spouse has privacy rights so it is highly unlikely the plan administrator will help you or give you copy of any documents from your ex-spouse. You need a lawyer and possibly court order to get these documents and so on. I am usually in the favor of avoiding QDRO's with pension funds for these reasons as you end up fighting all over again around retirement time. I usually advise one spouse gets the pension plan and another one gets more of another asset. Of course, divorce lawyers usually disagree with me. I personally had to fight fraud 10 years after I got divorced so I understand your pain and frustration. You are presumed guilty party until you can prove otherwise. I wish you well and find a good sensible lawyer in your local area.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 27, 2014 from Somerville, MA

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