Mass. Pensions in Divorce: Division, Benefits, Language, and Appraisal Banner

Mass. Pensions in Divorce: Division, Benefits, Language, and Appraisal

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

04:30 PM - 06:00 PM


The most ubiquitous pension divided in Massachusetts divorce cases is also among the most complicated. One of the oldest pension systems in the country, there are many factors which must be addressed in a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) for the 104 retirement boards to find the DRO acceptable. This seminar explores the various means of payment of retirement benefits (normal and disability retirement), survivor options elected before retirement (Option D) and at the time of retirement (Options A/B/C), cost of survivor benefits, common misconceptions, red flags, managing client’s expectations, and the functionality of how an offset against other retirement assets or Social Security may function. The accompanying presentation file contains sample agreement language, and links to M.G.L. and case law.

​Attend & Learn

·    How is this pension system different from private pension plans

·    How can the assigned monthly benefit be defined within a DRO

·    What pre- and post-retirement survivor benefit options can be assigned via DRO

·    What options are available for offsetting the pension value against other retirement assets or Social Security



Michael E. Foley, PASA, Inc., Woburn, MA

MICHAEL FOLEY is President of PASA, Inc. (Pension Appraisal Services Associates) and currently performs all the company’s pension appraisals. He first became involved in 2000, in 2005 constructed the program which performs much of the actuarial calculations, and joined PASA full-time in 2012. Prior to 2012 he was employed for 11 years between State Street Bank and Fidelity, managing teams within corporate actions and income for Fidelity’s mutual funds. He has presented seminars for and/or has been published by the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Boston Bar Association, and various chapters of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council on the topics of pension appraisals, QDROs/DROs, and the division of retirement assets in the context of divorce. He has performed over 2,000 pension appraisals and has been accepted as an expert witness in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. He has a bachelor's degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and is an affiliated member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. (February 2023)



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