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(a) After a member is divorced or the member's marriage is dissolved, the member's former spouse has no individual rights or entitlements to benefits from the system, but may, under a qualified domestic relations order, share in the stream of benefit payments paid to the member. To be valid and enforced by the administrator, a qualified domestic relations order must conform to both the requirements of AS 22.25 and the requirements of the United States Internal Revenue Code that the system must comply with in order to maintain its federal tax-qualified status.
(b) An alternate payee
(1) may only be the former spouse of a member who has been named by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction to receive all or a portion of the member's retirement benefit;
(2) may not name survivors or beneficiaries to the alternate payee's portion of the member's benefit;
(3) will not be provided medical or insurance benefits at the system's expense but may purchase coverage from the system at the full calculated cost to the system; the alternate payee must elect to purchase the coverage within 60 days after appointment to benefits.
(c) The administrator shall review all domestic relations orders that the administrator receives, and shall reject a domestic relations order that does not meet the requirements of AS 22.25 or this chapter. A qualified domestic relations order that is accepted by the administrator is effective on the first day of the month following the month in which the order is accepted, or on the date of retirement, whichever is later. The administrator shall accept only a domestic relations order that is prospective. The administrator shall reject an order that
(1) purports to have a retroactive effective date;
(2) orders payment of the alternate payee's benefits to someone other than the member upon the death of the alternate payee;
(3) orders payment of benefits to an alternate payee, other than survivor benefits, after the death of the member.
(d) The administrator shall approve a domestic relations order that orders payment of a monthly benefit to an alternate payee only if the alternate payee's portion of the member's monthly stream of benefit payments is expressed as a set monthly dollar amount, as a percentage of the monthly benefit payment, or as a monthly formula based on a defined period of time divided by the member's total years of credited service.
(e) Unless a qualified domestic relations order specifically states otherwise, the administrator shall follow the following rules in implementing qualified domestic relations orders:
(1) no death or survivor benefits shall be paid to the alternate payee if the member dies before retirement;
(2) no survivor benefits shall be paid to the alternate payee;
(3) remarriage of the alternate payee does not in any way reduce or eliminate the alternate payee's entitlement to benefits.
(f) If a member divorces after the member has retired or if a member's marriage is dissolved after the member has retired, the member's spouse at the time of death will retain sole rights to survivor benefits except to the extent that a qualified domestic relations order requires payment of survivor benefits to an alternate payee.
(g) A lump sum payment to an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order may be made only if the member elects a full withdrawal from membership in the judicial retirement system. Lump sum entitlements in a qualified domestic relations order must be stated either as a specific dollar amount or as a specific percentage of the member's contribution account.
(h) A qualified domestic relations order affecting disability benefits under AS 22.25.010 shall be accepted by the administrator only after the member has been appointed to disability.
History: Eff. 8/13/2005, Register 175
Authority: AS 22.25.035
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Last modified 7/05/2006