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If you divorce, you must promptly notify the Retirement Benefits Department of your divorce and provide a complete copy of the divorce decree and the section of the settlement agreement that deals with your pension benefits from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund.  


Promptly after your divorce, you should update your Designation of Beneficiary form for the Carpenters Pension Fund. Additionally, if you are already receiving your monthly pension benefit from the Construction Pension Fund, you should also update your beneficiary for the $3,000 Lump Sum Death Benefit. Forms to update your beneficiary can be obtained by contacting the Retirement Benefits Department at 312-787-9455/Option 4.  

Your designation of your (former) spouse as a beneficiary is automatically void as of the date of your divorce.  After the divorce, if you wish to do so, you may re-designate your (former) spouse as your beneficiary or you may name a different beneficiary by completing a new beneficiary designation form with the Fund Office.  


Whether or not your spouse is to be assigned a portion of your pension benefit is an issue to be decided as part of your Settlement Agreement. The Pension Fund does not require an assignment of benefits to your spouse, nor does the Pension Fund prohibit an assignment. However, if it is determined that your spouse is to be assigned a portion of your pension benefit, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) must be entered with the court.


A QDRO is a court order that requires the Pension Fund to pay all or a portion of your pension benefits to a spouse, a former spouse, or a dependent(s), usually in connection with a divorce, property settlement, or child support. To be considered a QDRO, the court order must meet certain requirements. These requirements are described in the Pension Fund’s QDRO procedures (see below). To learn more about QDROs, you may visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration website (a division of the Department of Labor). Click here to be directed to their QDRO publication.


· Click here for a copy of the Construction Fund Defined Benefit Plan QDRO procedures. It is very important that you and your attorney review these procedures before a QDRO is drafted. 

The Pension Fund has several different model QDROs. You may contact Diana Wheeler in the Retirement Benefits Department (contact information appears below) if you would like any of the model QDROs e-mailed to you in Microsoft Word format.


· Click here for the Construction Pension Fund Pre-Retirement model QDRO.

· Click here for the Construction Pension Fund Post-Retirement (Joint and Survivor Payment Option selected at the time of retirement) model QDRO.

· Click here for the Construction Pension Fund Post-Retirement (No Joint and Survivor Payment Option) model QDRO. 


It is important to note that these model QDROs are not simply forms to be filled in. These model QDROs are to be used as guidelines in drafting a QDRO. The actual language of the QDRO may vary. We strongly suggest that you or your attorney carefully review the Fund’s QDRO Procedures before drafting the QDRO. Your attorney should also carefully review the model QDRO language to make certain that it agrees with the provisions of your Settlement Agreement.  


If an Alternate Payee is to be assigned benefits from the Defined Benefit Plan and from the Supplemental Retirement Plan, for clarity we strongly suggest that 2 separate Qualified Domestic Relations Orders be filed.


If a QDRO is to be filed, before entering the order with the Court, you or your attorney should send a draft of the order to the Retirement Benefits Department for review. You may send the draft to: 

Diana Wheeler
Assistant to the Retirement Benefits Manager
Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund
12 E. Erie Street, 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: (312)787-9455, Ext. 263
Fax: (312)951-3986

You will be advised as to whether or not the draft meets the Fund’s requirements to be considered a QDRO. Once it is determined that the draft meets the requirements, it can then be entered with the Court.  


After the QDRO is entered with the Court, an original certified copy of the entered Order must be sent to the Pension Fund Office. The original document will not be returned to you. It must be retained in your file at the Fund Office.  


Upon receipt of the entered QDRO, all interested parties (the carpenter, the former spouse, and the attorney for each) will be sent a letter acknowledging receipt of the QDRO.


If you require specific information pertaining to your accrued benefit in the Defined Benefit Plan, you must submit a written request for a “Divorce Packet.” Click here for a form that can be used to request a Divorce Packet. The completed form and a copy of your (the carpenter’s) photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card or passport) should be returned to Diana Wheeler at the Fund Office (contact information appears above).  


In the absence of the carpenter’s written request for a Divorce Packet, specific information pertaining to the carpenter’s accrued benefit in the Defined Benefit Plan or the carpenter’s account balance in the Supplemental Retirement Plan will be released in response to a court issued subpoena. The subpoena should be addressed to the “Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Welfare, Pension, and Supplemental Retirement Funds.” Subpoenas should be sent to the attention of Diana Wheeler at the Fund Office (contact information appears above).



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