All or part of a Wayne County Employees’ Retirement System ("WCERS")
retirement benefit may be subject to Michigan Community Property laws. It is important to remember that the
Retirement Commission and WCERS staff cannot give legal advice as to how a divorce may impact a retirement benefit.
In fact, it will be up to the Family Court to decide what interest a member's spouse and a former spouse have in
any retirement allowance and other WCERS benefits.
WCERS' role in the process is to see if any
divorce orders violate our plan requirements. As long as a divorce order does not violate our plan, WCERS will not
take a position on any divorce issues affecting a retirement benefit.
The information on our Website is for general
purposes only and is not designed to address the specific circumstances of your case. Also, issues regarding
retirement benefits divided by a Domestic Relations Order may involve complex Community Property laws, other
marital or tax issues. WCERS strongly encourages you to seek independent legal advice.
TO FILE AN ELIGIBLE
DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (EDRO), QUALIFED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (QDRO), AND/OR
DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (DRO)
1) Participant in the Wayne County Employees’
Retirement System files for a divorce with the Circuit Court.
2) The Circuit Court provides the parties with an
official Judgment of Divorce that includes a case and docket number
that is assigned to both of the parties.
3) The Judgment of Divorce establishes the
financial rights each party has to the estate, this includes (if any) the rights the alternate payee (ex-spouse)
may have in the participants retirement account.
4) The participant and alternate payee has the
duty to inform the Wayne County Employees Retirement System of the Divorce and provide a copy of the Judgment,
stating what rights, if any, the alternate payee is entitled to. Parties must also submit a court executed EDRO,
QDRO, and/or DRO, which provides for payment of future pension proceeds to a former spouse pursuant to an Order.
This allows for the participants account to be segregated at that time, if so ordered.
5) Alternate payee may submit a draft of the
proposed EDRO, QDRO and/ or DRO so that the Wayne County Employees’ Retirement System may review it to check and
see if the Order satisfies the requirements of the EDRO Act, Michigan Public Act of 1991 (MCL 38.1701 et seq.) or
other applicable domestic relations law. The Wayne County Employees’ Retirement System shall further check that the
Order is consistent with the provisions of the Retirement Plan.
6) Upon receipt of the Court Executed EDRO, DRO,
and/or QDRO, the Executive Director or Deputy Director shall notify the parties who will be affected by such Order
by sending an "Acknowledgement of Receipt” letter.
7) The Executive Director or Deputy Director shall
review the Order and the Retirement System records to determine the appropriate Plan(s) applicable to the
participant then subject to the terms of the Order and shall process the Order in accordance with its procedures.
If the Order fails to comply, a notice will be sent to the parties to amend.
8) Any Actuarial fees due to Review and
Certification of an Order, will be shared among the parties.
It is the alternate payees’ obligation to monitor
when he/she will be eligible to collect any benefits. There will be no communication sent from the Wayne County
Employees’ Retirement System. It is the sole duty and responsibility of the alternate payee to be informed of their
The Wayne County Employees’ Retirement System
website, http://wcers.org/Retiree-Forms.html, provides sample EDRO forms for reference. WCERS strongly
encourages that both parties seek legal advice as WCERS staff is prohibited from providing
If the Participant or Alternate Payee has any
questions they can contact the Retirement Office at 313.224.2816.