Divorce or Legal Separation
Divorce and legal separation are considered family status changes so you may be able to make changes to some of your benefits (without having to wait for the open enrollment period in October) providing the change is consistent with and as a result of the divorce or legal separation and you make a Family Status Change
within 30 days of the divorce or legal separation. If you have questions, please contact the Employee Service Center.
Action Items Checklist:
|Change name (if applicable) and marital status with Human Resources Records Management.|
|Go to the Tools and Forms page and find Employee Information Form in the list. Complete the form and mail to: HRRM, PMB #407718, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7718. If your name is changing, your must provide proof of name change by including a copy of your new Social Security Card or copy of the receipt from Social Security (showing you have applied to change your name with the Social Security Administration).|
Change tax withholding status (if applicable).
|Go to the Tools and Forms page and find W-4 in the list. Complete the form and mail to: HRRM, PMB #407718, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7718. (Changes to your W-4 cannot be made online in C2HR or by fax. The IRS requires an original signature to make this change.)|
|If marital status has changed, update your marital status using Personal Information Change Form|
|Make changes to benefits.|
|See the Family Status Change web page for more information.|
Health, Dental and/or Vision Coverage
You must drop your ex-spouse from your coverage. (Whether divorced or legally separated.)
- You must notify the Benefits Office within 30 days of the status change.
- Your ex-spouse can opt to pay for their own benefits through COBRA and they will receive notification of this in the mail.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Changes must be made within 30 days of the date of the divorce or legal separation.
- If you anticipate changes to your health care or dependent care expenses in the upcoming months due to your change in marital status, you may want to begin participating in an FSA, or increase or decrease the contributions to your existing FSA.
- You may obtain the FSA Enrollment Form from HR Express, 2525 West End Avenue, second floor, or from the Tools and Forms page.
Changes should be made as soon as possible after the divorce or legal separation.
- Contact your investment company to update your beneficiary designation.
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is as court judgment, decree, or order that:
- is made pursuant to state domestic relations law and
- that relates to the provisions of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights for the benefit of a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant
- that creates or recognizes the existence of an alternative payee’s right to receive, or assigns to an alternative payee the right to receive, all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under a federally regulated retirement plan, and that includes certain information and meets certain other legal requirements. Contact your attorney for specific requirements.
To avoid a delay in processing, Vanderbilt’s Benefits Administration Office suggests the following steps for processing a QDRO. Following these steps allows for review of the order prior to court review and assures the document will be deemed a qualified order for the Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan, thus avoiding the expense of having revisions made and re-submitting the Order to the Court.
To process a Qualified Domestic Relations Order:
- Prepare the proposed Order (or have your attorney prepare one for you) and submit the draft document to Vanderbilt's Benefits Administration Office for consideration. (A divorce decree/marital dissolution agreement is not sufficient.) Vanderbilt does not provide a standard form but you may contact your investment company to see if they have one they will provide.
- The Benefits Administration Office will review the Order with Vanderbilt’s Office of the General Counsel and return the Order to you with either tentative approval or a list of recommended changes needed to be accepted as “qualified” by the Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan.
- After you or your attorney make the requested revisions, the Order must be submitted to the Benefits Administration Office for a final review (before submission to the court).
- Once approval is given by Benefits Administration, the Order should be submitted to the Court for approval.
- Once approval is granted by the Court, a certified copy of the Order must be submitted to the Benefits Administration Office for submission to the Investment Company as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
- The Investment Company will then divide the assets according to the approved and executed QDRO.
Name of Plan:
Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan
Please direct correspondence to:
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, Tennessee 37240-7700
2525 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
For questions specifically related to Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, contact:
(615) 343-8171 or (615) 322-8303
Change can be made anytime during the year.
- You may want to change your beneficiary designation.