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Marriage Dissolution: Dividing TRA Benefits

Minnesota law allows for the division of pension benefits as a settlement of property in a marriage dissolution. The law allows for the division of pension benefit rights only if liquid or readily liquidated material property is not sufficient to offset the value of future pension benefits.

Since TRA is a government pension plan, your account must be divided under the terms of state law rather than the federal law known as ERISA (1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act). In addition, a certified copy of your order for division be filed with our office upon its execution.

State law allows the division of public pension benefits. Former spouse benefits are:

Benefits to a former spouse do not begin until the member submits a valid application for a public pension plan benefit and the benefit becomes payable.

We prefer that the division of marital property be drafted according to our sample language.  We recommend you seek private legal counsel. TRA staff members do not give legal advice concerning marriage dissolutions. A certified copy of your order of division must be filed with our office upon its execution.

Access to data

TRA is authorized to release private or confidential member data to the court, the parties to a marriage dissolution, their attorneys, and a court-appointed actuary without your consent, but only if the retirement plan administrator has received a copy of the legal petition showing that an action for marriage dissolution has commenced and a copy of the affidavit of service showing that the petition has been served upon the responding party to the action.

You may, however, provide us with a signed statement authorizing the release of private or confidential data to the concerned parties.

TRA must provide your accrued years of service credit, credited salary for the most current five-year period, a summary of the benefit plan, and any other information relevant to the calculation of the present value of your benefits.

Guide available

For members and spouses involved in a marriage dissolution, we have published Marriage Dissolution: Dividing TRA Benefits, a guide for the parties involved and their attorneys, that provides a better understanding of how TRA pension benefits may be divided as a settlement of marital property.

This guide includes a suggested method for the division of property, a summary of the options available to plan participants and a summary of the effect these options have on the division of benefits.

 

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