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2017 Minnesota Statutes

518.581 SURVIVING SPOUSE BENEFIT.

Subdivision 1.Award of benefit.

If a current or former employee's marriage is dissolved, the court may order the employee, the employee's pension plan, or both, to pay amounts as part of the division of pension rights that the court may make under section 518.58, or as an award of maintenance in the form of a percentage of periodic or other payments or in the form of a fixed dollar amount. The court may, as part of the order, award a former spouse all or part of a survivor benefit unless the plan does not allow by law the payment of a surviving spouse benefit to a former spouse.

Subd. 2.Payment of funds by retirement plan.

(a) If the court has ordered that a spouse has an interest in a pension plan, the court may order the pension plan to withhold payment of a refund upon termination of employment or lump-sum distribution to the extent of the spouse's interest in the plan, or to provide survivor benefits ordered by the court.

(b) The court may not order the pension plan to:

(1) pay more than the equivalent of one surviving spouse benefit, regardless of the number of spouses or former spouses who may be sharing in a portion of the total benefit;

(2) pay surviving spouse benefits under circumstances where the plan member does not have a right to elect surviving spouse benefits;

(3) pay surviving spouse benefits to a former spouse if the former spouse would not be eligible for benefits under the terms of the plan; or

(4) order survivor benefits which, when combined with the annuity or benefit payable to the pension plan member, exceed the actuarial equivalent value of the normal retirement annuity form, determined under the plan documents of the pension plan then in effect and the actuarial assumptions then in effect for calculating optional annuity forms by the pension plan or for calculating the funding requirements of the pension plan if no optional annuity forms are provided by the pension plan.

(c) If more than one spouse or former spouse is entitled to a surviving spouse benefit, the pension plan shall pay each spouse a portion of the benefit based on the ratio of the number of years the spouse was married to the plan member to the total number of years the plan member was married to spouses who are entitled to the benefit.

Subd. 3.Notice to former spouse.

A pension plan shall notify a former spouse of an application by the employee for a refund of pension benefits if the former spouse has filed with the pension plan:

(1) a copy of the court order, including a withholding order, determining the former spouse's rights;

(2) the name and last known address of the employee; and

(3) the name and address of the former spouse.

A pension plan shall comply with an order, including a withholding order, issued by a court having jurisdiction over dissolution of marriage that is served on the pension plan, if the order states the name, last known address of the payees, and name and address of the former spouse, or if the names and addresses are provided to the pension plan with service of the order.

Subd. 4.Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given in this subdivision.

(a) "Current or former employee" or "employee" means an individual who has an interest in a pension plan.

(b) "Surviving spouse benefit" means (1) a benefit a surviving spouse may be eligible for under the laws and bylaws of the pension plan if the employee dies before retirement, or (2) a benefit selected for or available to a surviving spouse under the laws and bylaws of the pension plan upon the death of the employee after retirement.

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