Retirement and financial crisis

I am interested in the reply to this question. Usually, accounts are valued at the date of separation. That is how the retirement pension was divided in my case and I received almost 1/2 the value at the date of separation (my judge thought it was best for my adulterous physician ex-husband to receive more of the assets than me, an out of work for 20 years school teacher.) Of course, it has now declined due to market volatility and I will be teaching school for the rest of my life with a meager retirement plan.) This is one for an attorney response!

If you are receiving a lump sum then that should not be affected by the market. If you are to receive a portion and the change in the account is due to market fluctuations there may not be anything you can do. An attorney would need to review all the documentation to see if there was any action that could be pursued for the delay.

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Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Pension plans are normally set up along the same rules as an IRA. I had to “roll” my share over into an IRA usually “market” related. Yes, I could have elected to receive the “lump sum”, but would have been subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal. Easy to say, but you just can’t take the “cash” from any pension fund, 401K without the subsequent penalties. By rolling it, I avoided the tax trap (within 60 days), but have not avoided market volatility. That’s why there is such an animal as QDRO. Protection from the Feds getting 40%. Then, you have to take your chances and hope for the best. Good luck.

We mediated in December 2007 and signed a settlement agreement at the mediation, however, he would not sign the separation agreement until September 2008. As part of the agreement, I am to receive a certain dollar amount of a retirement account. Because he would not sign the separation agreement and now with the financial crisis we are in, is he liable for any money that may have been lost in that account?