When the parties divorced, their judgment awarded each party fifty percent of the marital portion of the other party’s pension. [Plaintiff, a teacher, has a pension with the State of Michigan. Defendant’s pension was with Chrysler. As appropriate for each pensio, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or Eligible Domestic Relations Order (EDRO), was prepared and incorporated by reference in the judgment.The judgment provided each alternate payee the right to elect to begin receiving his/her benefits at the Participant’s earliest retirement age. the JOD also provided that “[t]o the extent that the Plan charges an administrative or actuarial cost for reviewing or administering the QDRO/EDRO, the Plaintiff and Defendant agree to split this cost equally.”
So far, so good, right? Well, Ms. Wolf got a big surprise when her ex-husband elected to begin receiving benefits at her earliest retirement age.