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Division of Pensions

What happens to pensions – how are these divided?

Amy Wechsler’s Answer:

Some people are fortunate enough to have defined benefit pensions that will provide an income for life upon retirement. To the extent one of these pensions was earned during the marriage, the spouse has an interest in it. Many, but not all, pensions can be divided so that both parties will receive a pension income upon retirement. This division of the pension is accomplished through a specialized court order. When a pension cannot be divided in this way, the pension can still be valued, so that the spouse’s interest can be offset by getting a larger share of other assets or with additional support. It is important to understand the rules of each individual employer’s plan when structuring the distribution of a pension.

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