Appraisal Witness: Qualified Expert

Appraisal Witness: Qualified Expert

Archive for May, 2008

Divorce Pension Division

Wednesday, May 07th, 2008

Divorce Pension Division is always accomplished by an accredited personal property appraiser. Arriving at a fair split of the subject pension can only be done with a qualified appraiser determining the value of the pension at the time of the divorce.

Consider this hypothetical situation and the problems in determining a divorce pension amount. The recipient of the benefit began employment at 21, and is now 49. Their current pension plan allows them to retire after 30 years of service with a supplemented pension allocation. This means that the recipient is able to retire at 51 and receive an annual figure of $34,200 until they reach 62 years (when Social Security benefits commence). Once 62 years, they will continue to receive $17,100 annually, until death.

If, however, the recipient were to leave the company by the marital property accrual cutoff date at 50 years, with 29 years of service, their benefit entitlement would be $16,821 annually, commencing once they reached 65 years and continuing until death.
Depending on the approach used to determine the divorce pension amount, the amount allocated as the divorce retirement figure will be extremely different. If the divorce pension figure is decided by the deferred approach, then the non recipient will receive a divorce retirement settlement sum far below what the actual benefit will be worth.

The only time this dilemma does not present itself in divorce pension settlements is when the recipient is already retired, or if they have left employment. In all other situations, attorneys must confront this issue when determining a divorce retirement sum.
Where case law directs that you use the deferred vested approach to reach a divorce pension settlement amount, and you represent the non recipient, unless you can persuade the recipient to agree to a larger divorce retirement figure, the distribution of assets will be inequitable, but within the law.

Divorce Pension Division is one of the specialties of Durkin Valuation Associates. If the litigation involves a contesting of the Divorce Pension Division, Durkin Valuation Associates are expert appraisal witnesses giving irrefutable testimony to support our appraisals and valuations.
(617) 720-0332

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