Retirement and Pension Plans

An attorney who understands retirement plans, pension plans and QDROs

Bruce Spizer has extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of retirement plans, pension plans, deferred compensation plans and QDROs. Retirement plans are often one of the most significant assets a person has. Unfortunately, this area of the law is often complex, making it difficult for persons to understand how these plans work and how they are taxed. Mr. Spizer can assist you in the following areas:

  • Selection of retirement plans
  • Understanding the taxation of retirement benefits
  • Naming proper beneficiaries
  • Getting what you are entitled to under a plan
  • Dividing retirement plan assets upon divorce

Selecting the right retirement plans for you, your business and your employees

There are several types of retirement plans available, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans, traditional pension plans, profit sharing plans and 401(k) plans to name a few. Mr. Spizer can assist you with selecting the proper plan or plans to set up for your business to maximize the benefits of you and your key employees while remaining in compliance with complex discrimination tests.

Coordinating your beneficiary designations with your estate plan

Many people name their spouse as the primary beneficiary and their children as the secondary beneficiary of their retirement plans. If this is all you do and you and your spouse die in a common accident, your retirement benefits shall go directly to your children even if your will is designed to have your assets go to a trust established for your children. Mr. Spizer can help you avoid this situation by drafting a beneficiary designation that directs that the benefits be paid to the trust established in your will.

Coordinating your beneficiary designations with the law

If you are married, federal law requires that you name your spouse as the beneficiary of your qualified retirement plan benefits unless he or she consents in writing to your selecting someone else. If you fail to obtain this written consent and your children are named as your beneficiaries, the plan will disregard your wishes and make payment to your spouse. This will happen even if you named your children as beneficiaries before you got married for the second time and even if your spouse forfeited his of her rights in your retirement plans in a pre-nuptial agreement. Mr. Spizer will make sure you understand the rules and assist you with compliance.

Fighting for what you are entitled to under the plan

If you believe that your employer or former employer is failing to provide you with the benefits you are entitled to under the plan, Mr. Spizer will review the plan document and let you know if you are being deprived of benefits. If he determines that you are not getting what is called for under the plan, he will work to get you your full benefits.

Dividing retirement plan assets in divorce with a QDRO

For many couples, retirement plans are among the most significant assets held by the couple. Louisiana community property law gives each spouse a one-half interest in all retirement benefits earned during the marriage. The calculation of that interest can be complex if some of the benefits were earned prior to and/or after the marriage. Mr. Spizer can determine the amount of benefits each spouse is entitled to. The Internal Revenue Code requires that benefits be paid pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, commonly known as a QDRO. Companies will only divide retirement plan benefits upon receipt of a court certified copy of a QDRO that satisfies both the Internal Revenue Code and the terms of the retirement plan. Mr. Spizer is one of the leading attorneys in this complex field and is frequently brought in by divorce attorneys and the court to determine the amount of benefits each spouse is entitled to and to draft and submit the QDRO.

Contact someone who can help you in this complex area of the law

Bruce Spizer can help you navigate through the complexities of retirement plans and QDROs. Call 504-524-2880 or contact him online.