In providing this overview and the attached prototype for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), TIAA-CREF is not providing legal, tax or investment advice, and will not be held liable for errors or omissions in QDROs received.

Please review all materials with counsel.

Overview: Different stages of the retirement experience require different approaches as do the various types of obligations the QDRO is being devised to satisfy. In general, these materials contemplate a marital property distribution of significant accumulations in the pre-payout (deferred annuity) stage.

See Part 3 for contracts in payout (immediate annuity) status, and for accumulations where preserving tax deferral is not the driving concern. See Part 4 for child support /alimony obligations. Interests in IRAs can be distributed by the divorce decree, however the law requires the obtaining of a separate court order "QDRO" to distribute interests in employer sponsored retirement plans. The following frequently asked questions are separated into questions more frequently asked by the participant or the non-participant spouse (alternate payee), but all sections should be reviewed by both.

Part 1: Questions Participants Ask About Deferred (Pre-payout) Annuity Splits

Part 2: Questions Alternate Payees Ask About Deferred (Pre-payout) Annuity Splits

Part 3: Questions About Immediate or Payout Annuity Contracts

Payout Annuity Contracts principally fall into one of the following categories:

Life annuity contracts — a "stream of payments" type QDRO can be implemented. Alternate payees can be established for income during the life of the participant and for the death benefits, but the measuring lives remain the same.

Transfer Payout Annuity (TPA), Minimum Distribution Option (MDO), Interest Only (IO) payment contracts — for these types of contracts a separate interest TPA, IO, or MDO QDRO can be used if the parties wish to individually exercise the other payment options available under the rules of the plan. However, if the parties only wish to divide the stream of payments, the annuity income QDRO may be used. In both cases, a percentage is required to reflect the fact that the income will change over time.

MDO (Required Minimum Distribution Option)

Contracts may be split respectively. Since the payment amounts are set at the beginning of each year, the parties must divide the payments, for the calendar year of receipt of the QDRO, amongst themselves and arrange tax reporting accordingly.

Part 4: Spousal and Child Support QDROs

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