Most employers that maintain a tax qualified retirement plan, and some that maintain non-qualified plans, will at some time receive a Qualified Domestic Relations Order for execution under the Plan. Although some larger plan vendors and consultants may provide this service, not all do, and those that do typically charge a significant fee for the service. Gary A. Nagler, PLLC has the qualifications to provide these services to an employer plan sponsor, ensuring that only QDRO’s that are properly drafted are accepted, and this service is performed by an attorney, generally at a lower fee than is charged by plan vendors who provide the service through non-attorney staff. As the potential exists for plan disqualification, or significant fines and penalties, if an order is accepted that does not meet qualification standards, or possibly even legal action against the plan sponsor by one or both of the parties, having qualified legal counsel making this determination is a decision that makes both administrative and financial sense for the sponsor.

Many plan sponsors have become aware that regardless of how well they understand their plans, the very complex requirements that apply under ERISA §206(d) and IRC §414(p) are difficult to navigate, and fall outside their normal expertise. Given the potential liabilities for not making a legally defensible determination, which could involve payment of an account balance more than once, they desire to outsource the administration of QDRO’s, and Gary A. Nagler, PLLC can function as your outsourced QDRO administrator.

Unlike other firms dealing with QDRO’s, Gary A. Nagler, PLLC, a law practice concentrating its service in the ERISA/employee benefits field, has not only the expertise to provide this service, but can do so as a licensed attorney providing qualified legal advice.

The services that are available are as follows:

  • Preparation of plan specific model QDRO’s for use of family law counsel or the parties themselves in drafting proposed domestic relations orders. (Not all plan sponsors desire to provide such model language, but often, this will allow more compliant orders to be drafted, for simpler approval.)
  • Receipt and qualification of pre-certified orders, if desired.
  • Receipt and qualification of final, certified orders.
  • Communication with counsel and other parties with regard to deficient orders with instructions for correction.
  • Final communication with plan participant, alternate payee, legal counsel (if applicable) and plan sponsor with regard to approval of order.
  • Coordination with plan’s recordkeeper at various points in the process, including final instructions for establishment of alternate payee account.

A formal engagement agreement between Gary A. Nagler, PLLC. will be provided to the plan sponsor for mutual execution, before services are provided.

Additional details on the available services as well as fee structure can be obtained by contacting Gary Nagler at Gary A. Nagler & Associates, PLLC at (713) 666-7742, or by email at gary@garynagler.com.