Changing a Previously Approved QDRO

What a Revised Order Must Indicate

Any order attempting to change or replace an existing Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)--in addition to meeting all the QDRO requirements--must:

  • Specifically state that it amends or supersedes the previously qualified order.
  • Provide a way to identify the previous QDRO, such as a date when it was signed by the court.

You can send the order to:

Qualified Order Center
Post Office Box 1433
Lincolnshire, IL 60069-1433

General Information on Special Situations

Defined Contribution Plan

If the alternate payee has already requested a total distribution under a defined contribution plan QDRO, the revised order may only award the alternate payee an increased benefit. If the revised order seeks a decreased benefit for the alternate payee, the order will be denied.

Defined Benefit Plan

If the alternate payee has already started receiving a benefit under a separate interest QDRO, the plan won't accept a new order attempting to modify the terms (for example, the benefit amount or timing) of the original QDRO.

If the alternate payee has already started receiving a benefit under a shared payment QDRO, the plan will accept a new order attempting to modify terms of the original QDRO.

The only way to award the alternate payee an increased benefit from the participant's remaining benefit is by submitting another order. You must use the shared payment approach if the participant is in payment status, or a separate interest approach if the participant isn't in payment status.

Shared Payment Approach

A way of drafting a QDRO against a defined benefit plan that provides for the alternate payee and participant to share the participant's benefits. This shared approach provides the alternate payee the right to receive a portion of the participant's benefits at the same time the participant receives benefits.

Separate Interest Approach

A way of drafting a QDRO against a defined benefit plan which establishes a separate interest for the alternate payee. This separate interest provides the alternate payee with the ability to choose when to begin receiving benefits, and to receive payment of benefits for his/her lifetime.