Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a special court order that individuals obtain in divorce to specify how their IPERS benefits will be divided. An IPERS QDRO must be a final judgment, decree, or order. If an order has not been signed by a duly appointed judicial official and filed in accordance with applicable laws and procedures, or if it has been duly signed but has not been accepted by IPERS, the order may be a domestic relations order, but it will not be an IPERS QDRO.
An IPERS QDRO must satisfy the requirements of Iowa Code Section 97B.39 and 495 IAC 16.2 (97B). Remember that IPERS is a governmental plan not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A QDRO tailored to meet ERISA requirements will fail IPERS' requirements.
IPERS encourages members and their lawyers to review the booklet, Divorce and IPERS Benefits, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. We also recommend that they review IPERS' Model QDRO for reference.