If you are fortunate enough to have a pension through a present or previous employer, some or all of it may be marital property subject to division upon separation and divorce from your spouse if you worked for the company offering the pension during your marriage.
A pension plan is a type of annuity that will pay the employee a monthly benefit upon retirement. If the employee separates from his or her spouse prior to retiring, the non-employee spouse may want to be compensated for half the value of the pension because it is subject to a division pursuant to Equitable Distribution in North Carolina. In any separation, spouses can agree on how to divide their assets and debts so depending on the other assets, the non-employee may be willing to waive his or her interest in the pension. But if there are not enough assets to equal the pension value or the spouses cannot agree on the division, the employee may have to either buy out the other spouse’s share or the other spouse will receive part of the payments once the employee begins receiving benefits. If you are the non-employee spouse, be sure to inquire about any pensions and request a valuation of them if you are unsure of its value. If you are the employee, you will have to determine whether you can or should pay your spouse something to buy them out or designate your spouse as a recipient of a portion of your pension payment when you go into pay status.
Contact one of the attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. in Greensboro, Charlotte, or Wilmington to get assistance in determining a pension value and deciding how that pension will be divided and distributed upon separation.