Retirement plans and the community benefits to be derived therefrom are covered under California Family Code §2610.  According to the code, with some exceptions, in a dissolution action the court shall make “whatever orders are necessary or appropriate” to ensure that each party receives the party’s full community property share in any retirement plan, whether public or private, including all survivor and death benefits.  This might include the court ordering one party to elect a survivor benefit annuity or other similar election for the benefit of the other party, as specified by the court, in any case in which a retirement plan provides for such an election, “provided that no court shall order a retirement plan to provide increased benefits determined on the basis of actuarial value.”

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