Henson v. HensonAnnotate this Case
When Husband and Wife divorced, the district court entered a divorce decree allocating Wife a community property interest in Husband’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) pension plan. The district court later entered a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) giving Wife a survivor beneficiary interest in Husband’s PERS pension. Husband filed a motion to modify the QDRO, arguing the QDRO did not effectuate the division in the divorce decree. Wife moved for a judgment awarding her the community property pension payments she could have received since the time Husband became eligible to retire. The district court granted Husband’s motion to modify the QDRO and denied Wife’s motion for judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) unless specifically set forth in the divorce decree, an allocation of a community property interest in the employee spouse’s pension plan does not also entitle the nonemployee spouse to survivor benefits; and (2) the nonemployee spouse must first file a motion requesting immediate receipt of his or her portion of the community property interest in the employee spouse’s pension benefits.