Life Events

Important Note:
Notwithstanding any information in these Life Events pages or embedded links, for retirements that are first in pay status on or after April 1, 2017, certain Defined Benefit Plan provisions are scheduled to change in accordance with the adoption of Alternative Schedules 1 or 2 under the Second Critical Status Rehabilitation Plan.


There are many issues that need to be considered during the process of getting a divorce. The following checklist may be of help to simplify the necessary steps you need to take in regard to your benefit plans.

Plan Checklist

Items regarding the Health Plans apply only to participants in the Southern California IBEW-NECA Health Plans. However, if you participate in another electrician health plan, it is likely that similar considerations will apply.

  • The DB and DC Pension Plans are mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant's pension benefit. The legal name for the orders which must be approved and filed with both the DB and DC Pension Plans and the court is the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced kwadro). Separate orders must be filed with each Plan.
  • The attorney who will draft the QDRO will probably wish to obtain a copy of the summary plan description and the Plan Documents for both DB and DC Plans. You may contact the Administrative Office to request these documents.
  • Since your family status changes as the result of a divorce, you need to notify the Administrative Office within 60 days after the divorce becomes final. The office will notify your ex-spouse of any continuing coverage options. You will have to submit a copy of the final divorce decree to finalize changes to your benefits. If you fail to notify the Administrative Office within 60 days and health claims are erroneously paid for someone who is no longer your spouse, you will be liable for repayment of all monies owed to the Plan. In addition, COBRA rights for your former spouse may not be available.
  • Upon divorce, your wife automatically ceases being your beneficiary for life insurance under the Active Plan. However, if you do not change your beneficiary designation for the DB and DC Pension Plans, your former spouse could remain your beneficiary of those Plans. You will want to review your designation of beneficiary for both DB and DC Pension Plans as well as for the Life Insurance (Active) and Death (Retiree) benefit in the event of divorce.

Also Consider...

Planning Notes:

Financial planners recommend that persons undergoing a divorce should review and update a number of personal plans and documents. Here is a checklist of some items which you may need to update, revise, or consider: