Instructions for Completion and Submission of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
Effective July 1, 2016, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (“TCRS”) will accept and enforce Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDRO”) that are submitted in accordance with Chapter 1700-03-03 of the Official Compilation of Rules and Regulations of the State of Tennessee. As required by Rule 1700-03-03-.04, QDROs must be on the form prescribed by TCRS found on the website. TCRS will not accept a QDRO that is not on the prescribed form or that alters the prescribed form.
QDROs submitted on the TCRS form may pertain to prior divorces. However, they will only be administered prospectively from the effective date of the QDRO. TCRS will not accept a QDRO dated prior to the effective date of Chapter 1700-03-03, which is June 26, 2016.
In Items 3 and 4 of the QDRO, include the full names, addresses, and social security numbers of the Alternate Payee and the Member. When notifying the Alternate Payee of an approved QDRO and/or when payments are to commence, TCRS will use the last address of the Alternate Payee reported to TCRS. Pursuant to Rule 1700-03-03-.13, it is the responsibility of the Alternate Payee to report to TCRS each change in his or her name, residence, address, and direct deposit information.
For privacy concerns, the Member and/or Alternate Payee may choose to submit an alternate Verification of Social Security Number Form to verify social security number(s). If the alternate verification form is to be used, please check the box indicating so on the QDRO, and submit the Verification of Social Security Number form provided by TCRS at the same time as the QDRO is submitted to TCRS. To complete the Verification of Social Security Number form, include the Member’s name and social security number, the full name, social security number, and state of residence of the individual completing the form, and indicate whether the individual completing the form is the Member or the Alternate Payee. The Verification of Social Security Number form must be signed and notarized.
In Items 5 and 6 of the QDRO, include the month, day, and year of the date of marriage and the date the dissolution of marriage was entered.
Item 7 of the QDRO assigns a portion of the Member’s monthly retirement allowance. If the QDRO is to apply to the Member’s monthly retirement allowance, please select only ONE option under Item 7. Item 8 of the QDRO assigns a portion of a member’s refund of employee contributions. If the QDRO is to apply to the Member’s refund of employee contributions, please designate the dollar amount or percentage of the refund to be payable to the Alternate Payee. Please note that Item 8 is only applicable to members who have made employee contributions to TCRS pursuant to their membership classification, and employee contributions are the only funds available for a refund. No other lump sum payment is available to the Member or the Alternate Payee. If the Member is a contributory member, both Items 7 and 8 may be completed. However, please note that payment will only be made under either Item 7 or 8. If the Member applies for a monthly retirement allowance, the Alternate Payee will receive payment as described in Item 7. If the Member applies for a refund of employee contributions, the Alternate Payee will receive payment as described in Item 8. A Member who requests a refund of employee contributions forfeits his or her rights to receive a monthly retirement allowance.
TCRS encourages parties to request a benefit estimate prior to entering submitting a QDRO. Benefit estimates may be requested by contacting TCRS at 800-922-7772 or 502 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 37243. A subpoena is not required to request a benefit estimate. The estimate of benefits is not binding upon TCRS, does not constitute a guarantee of benefits, and is subject to final verification by TCRS prior to payment of benefits, and plan provisions will prevail.
TCRS will not accept a QDRO that directs payment to an Alternate Payee of funds greater than the value accrued during the period of marriage assuming the member were to retire at full retirement age utilizing the regular service retirement allowance. Additionally, TCRS will not process selection of a survivorship option at retirement by a Member that results in the value of the Member’s monthly allowance being less than the amount the QDRO orders TCRS to pay the Alternate Payee.
TCRS will not make payment to an Alternate Payee until a Member applies for a monthly retirement allowance or, if applicable, a refund of employee contributions.
Certified copies of a QDRO, once entered by the Court, may be submitted to TCRS by sending to the address above. QDROs will be reviewed for compliance with the Rules and the member and alternate payee will be notified upon approval or rejection of the QDRO. If a QDRO is rejected, the member and alternate payee will be notified of the reason for the rejection. If a QDRO is approved, then it will be placed in the member’s file if the member has not already retired. If the member has retired, payment to the alternate payee will commence on the monthly payment date in the month following approval. TCRS will not apply a QDRO retroactively to benefits prior to the effective date of the QDRO. TCRS will not apply a QDRO to a refund of member contributions that has been made prior to receipt of a QDRO purporting to be applicable to such refund.
In the event that the QDRO is amended, the Member or Alternate Payee must submit a certified copy of the amended order for review and approval by TCRS. TCRS will consider a QDRO in effect unless one of the following occurs: 1) receipt of a certified copy of a court order terminating the QDRO; 2) all amounts provided for in the QDRO have been paid; 3) the person to whom the QDRO applies (TCRS member) ceases to be an annuitant of the TCRS; or 4) the death of the alternate payee or the member.
For additional questions, please contact TCRS at the telephone number or address above.
These instructions only pertain to TCRS, a defined benefit plan. Members of TCRS who are also participants in the State of Tennessee Deferred Compensation Program, including those who participate in the State’s Deferred Compensation program as members of the Hybrid Plan, will need a separate QDRO if division of Deferred Compensation benefits is desired. The State’s Deferred Compensation Program will recognize QDROs dated on or after July 1, 2016. Processing of QDROs for Deferred Compensation will be done by the Deferred Compensation Program’s third party administrator, Empower Retirement Services. To obtain the Deferred Compensation Program's QDRO form, please contact Empower Client Services at 800-922-7772.