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How are DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS divided in California DIVORCE?

Q. How are defined contribution plans divided in California dissolutions?


A. A defined contribution pension plan is a plan in which the employer's obligation is based only on its annual contribution. The benefit for the employee on retirement depends on the value of the employee's account at that time. There is no need for expert testimony to determine the present value of a defined contribution plan at dissolution because its value equals [Marriage of Bergman (1985) 168 CA3d 742, 748-749 n4]:

1. The amount of contributions made between the marriage and separation, plus accruals; plus

2. Accruals between the date of separation and trial of the issue.

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