Transferring an ERISA account, like a 401(k), from one spouse to another can have substantial tax benefits, by delaying Required Minimum Distributions or avoiding early withdrawal penalties. However, one cannot simply transfer an account from one spouse to another under most circumstances without triggering adverse tax consequences. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order or “QDRO” avoids those adverse consequences. While a QDRO is most commonly used in a divorce context, divorce is not a requirement. This article by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, explains more.
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