Ex wife entitled to ex husband's pension?

patty_cakesOctober 2, 2013

I have a friend who was married for 15 years to a man whose company provided benefits on retirement. He retired and passed away a few years ago, and my friend would like to know if she can make a claim on a part of those benefits. She knows there was a will and thinks he may have had a provision written leaving his 2nd wife to gain from those first 15 years, as well as their years together. Anyone have experience or know of someone who has tried to make such a claim?

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emma

I don't think a company gives benefits to the wife unless he signs her up for it at his retirement and not many companies offer this. I think he would have told her that at the time he retired.

When my husband retired he took me with him for the signing. The rep asked if he wanted to sign me up to receive his benefits if he died, he said yes. She told him he would have to give up a $100. a month of his pension to do that. He agreed to that. I asked what happens if we divorced would I still draw the pension after he died. She laughed and said the one that is signed up for it get it regardless of how many times he marries. LOL So that is what I live on now plus social security.

When she starts drawing Soc Sec I believe she can draw from him or a present husband, which ever one made the most money.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:48PM
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patty_cakes

Emma that must not be the case with all companies. My husband worked for CAT and passed away 2 years ago. He had retired the year previously, and was already getting benefits. After he passed, I started getting about half of what he was receiving. I never signed anything, it was automatic as I was the beneficiary. Like you, I receive the company pension as well as the SS, and it's more than enough. Also a nice portfolio of Cat stock and other investments my husband made. He was a very simple man whose father instilled saving as a way of life. It's such a shame he didn't get toe joy it since he died 7 months after he retired.

She can't take advantage of the SS since she has remarried. It was a nasty divorce so I'm sure even if there were the slightest possibility of her getting anything after his death he took care of it beforehand. He had3 boys with my friend, but left everything to his2nd wife and their daughter. The boys, all adults, were heartbroken. He maintained relationships with them, and we think during his illness his wife may have had the will changed. Let God be her judge!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:04PM
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emma

Every wife can draw soc sec on a deceased husband he has nothing to say about it. She has to be old enough to draw Soc Sec. I think they had to be married a set number of years. I was told personally you can draw on either husband, which ever made the most money. My sister's ex husband died before her second husband she could have drawn on the ex but her current husband made than her ex.

I didn't sign anything either but my husband did. I was with him when she explained how it worked. He had to sign, so I guess that would make me the beneficiary.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Sat, Oct 5, 13 at 14:14

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Lindsey_CA

Yes, you can draw on an ex-husband's Social Security, but only if you were married for at least 10 years, and only if you have NOT remarried.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:50PM
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emma

That is not true in our state. I was told by a social security rep when I applied for soc sec that I could draw on either of my husbands. My former husband and I were married 15 years. My "present" husband earned more than my ex did so I drew on my husband. I guess the law could have changed.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:39AM
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azzalea

Isn't the pension question addressed in the divorce procedings? She needs to get her divorce papers out and see what they said. I do know one fellow who lost his ENTIRE pension to an ex-wife in the divorce, but as I said, that was decided at the time of their divorce. Still, it never hurts to ask questions--your friend would probably need to contact the company who manages the pension and ask THEM how things were set up, and if she's got any rights at this point.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:25PM
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emma

The court has nothing to do with the pension, that is the company's business and given because of long service to the company. The court can only award the spouse alimony. When my brother in law divorced my sister for a younger woman, my sister got the equal of his retirement from the military, but it was just alimony and had nothing to do with his military pension. If someone lost their pension in a divorce, the pension check still went to the husband and he had to pay her the amount from his personal account.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 10:12AM
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