Getting Divorced

Divorce can affect many aspects of your life, including your retirement benefits. If you find yourself going through a divorce, here are some other important things to consider:

  • Your retirement benefit is considered marital property, and your spouse may be entitled to a portion of your benefit in the event of divorce.
  • The State of Michigan enacted the Eligible Domestic Relations Order Act (MCL 38.1701 et seq) — also known as EDRO Act — to authorize the payment of public employee retirement system assets to certain individuals and to prescribe the powers and duties of certain retirement systems, state departments, public officials, and public employees.
  • If you are going through a divorce, complete the following steps:
    1. Download and print the sample domestic relations order (DRO*) applicable to your situation and MERS program — your attorney may find it helpful.
      • MERS model DRO for Defined Benefit — retired members (form 71)
      • MERS model EDRO for Defined Benefit Plan — active/terminated members (form 72)
      • MERS model DRO for Defined Contribution Plan — active/terminated/retired members (form 75)
      • MERS model DRO for Health Care Savings Program — active/terminated/retired participants (form 78)
      • Hybrid Plan members and 457 Program participants please contact us at 800.767.2308 weekdays for more information.
    2. Send us a copy of your proposed domestic relations order for review and approval.
    3. Send us a complete copy of your Judgment of Divorce and a copy of the final domestic relations order after your divorce is granted.
    4.  Review your beneficiaries.

*Domestic Relations Orders (DRO) are specific types of court orders that divide a public employee’s retirement pension. Processing fees may apply.

For more information about divorce and its impact on your retirement account, please refer to your retirement plan handbook or call our Service Center. Help figuring out what program you have.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Web site is being made available as a public service. The information is not intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice, or to replace official versions of that information. Benefit Estimates or Service Credit Purchase estimates requested through this Web site are not official descriptions of any benefits, and do not represent a promise by MERS to provide any benefit(s) to any person(s). No one can detrimentally rely upon the information provided in, or requested through this Web site. MERS reserves the right to correct any errors, and presents this information without warranties, express or implied, regarding the information's accuracy, timeliness or completeness. If you believe the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete, or if you have problems accessing or reading the information, please call MERS at 800.767.MERS (6377).