State marital property laws often entitle a nonemployee spouse to share in employee retirement benefits earned during marriage. Under ERISA-regulated retirement plans, accommodation of that marital property interest in conformity with ERISA's regulatory goals is a complex and challenging task. After a brief overview of ERISA, the author suggests an accommodation scheme based upon the varying levels of benefit maturity which exist under employee retirement benefit plans. The author concludes with a discussion of the significant tax consequences, both for the spouses and the plan, attending division of marital property retirement benefits between the spouses.
Deene Goodlaw Solomon,
Beyond Preemption: Accommodation of the Nonemployee Spouse's Interest under ERISA,
31 Hastings L.J. 1021
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_law_journal/vol31/iss5/2