Wisconsin Lawyer
Vol. 79, No. 10, October
2006
When Lovebirds Split:
Dividing the Retirement Nest Egg at Divorce – Dividing Wisconsin
Retirement System Benefits
About one in six Wisconsin divorce cases requires division of
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefits, and most family law
practitioners will encounter the WRS plan at some time. Learn why the
WRS is more challenging to deal with than most pension plans and how you
can get the best result for your divorce clients and avoid common
pitfalls that can lead to malpractice claims.
by Scott L. Dennison
overnment is big business in Wisconsin. About one in 12
people working in this state is a public employee, and about one in six
Wisconsin divorce cases requires division of Wisconsin Retirement System
(WRS) benefits.
Family law attorneys handling these cases must help
their clients decide whether to divide their WRS benefits by using a
qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) or by including the benefits
in the property settlement. To advise their clients lawyers need to
understand WRS retirement benefits and QDROs, and to have some idea of
the value of their client's pension under a QDRO. When a QDRO is
not used, and WRS benefits are included as marital assets in the
property settlement, this knowledge should enable attorneys to protect
their clients from errors often made by nonattorney experts (or by other
attorneys) regarding the appraised value of these benefits.
A Malpractice Scenario
Cathy and Dave divorced in 2006. Relying on her attorney's advice,
Cathy accepted a cash settlement for her share of Dave's WRS pension. In
order to calculate Cathy's settlement amount the attorneys agreed to use
"double the employee's contributions" as the pension's asset value. Dave
had $75,000 in contributions, so the aftertax value of his pension was
set at 80 percent of $150,000, or $120,000, and Cathy received half of
that amount as her share of the pension. She has invested this $60,000
toward her retirement in a lowrisk investment yielding 5 percent
interest, after taxes.
So far there is nothing unusual about this story. But fastforward 20
years to 2026, when Cathy is age 62 and wants to retire. Her retirement
nest egg is now more than $159,000. However, a friend who is
knowledgeable about the WRS has shown Cathy that if she had let her
share of the pension remain in the WRS by using a QDRO, she would now be
retiring with a pension of more than $2,300 per month for life, and this
amount would increase every year with dividends. The value of this
pension to Cathy would be at least $360,000 after taxes  more than
twice the $159,000 she has saved from her divorce settlement. Cathy is
very upset about this, and has filed a malpractice suit against her
former attorney, alleging that he failed to advise her of what her
pension rights were potentially worth under a QDRO. If the lawsuit is
decided in Cathy's favor, the attorney may be found liable for damages
equal to the difference between $360,000 and $159,000  or more than
$200,000.
Does this scenario sound implausible? It isn't. Although attorneys
are aware that the use of QDROs is fraught with malpractice issues, they
are far less aware that there may be liabilities associated with
not using a QDRO  or at least with not knowing enough about
them to give their clients reasonable advice. The dollar value of a WRS
pension under a QDRO is much greater than most people realize, and this
can be true for other retirement plans as well.
Understanding pension plans is difficult, but is necessary to avoid
their pitfalls. This article provides a practical knowledge of the WRS
in three parts. Part 1 describes the WRS, explaining how its retirement
benefits are defined under chapter 40 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Part 2
describes QDROs under the WRS, and Part 3 explains three costly errors
often made in appraising the value of WRS benefits for divorce cases
when a QDRO is not used. Part 1 is rather dry reading, but it is basic
to understanding Parts 2 and 3. Readers already familiar with WRS
benefits may want to skip Part 1 and refer to it as needed.
Part 1: Overview of the WRS
The WRS, which is administered by the state Department of Employee
Trust Funds (DETF), has both defined contribution and
defined benefit plan features. The WRS defined contribution
plan is called its Money Purchase Plan, offering a Money Purchase
Benefit that is financed by employee contributions with matching
amounts contributed by the employers. The WRS defined benefit plan
offers an alternative Formula Benefit that is a pension based
on an employee's compensation and years of service. The WRS pays the
larger of these two amounts of pension, with each retiree receiving a
pension that initially equals the greater of the Money Purchase
Benefit or the Formula Benefit.
The WRS recognizes four employee categories: general, protective with
Social Security (police), protective without Social Security
(firefighters), and executives and elected officials. Each group has its
own contribution rate, Formula Benefit, and retirement ages. Ninetyone
percent of WRS members are general employees, which includes most public
school and University of Wisconsin employees.
The Money Purchase Plan
Each employee contributes a percentage of salary to the WRS (5
percent for general employees). The amount to which contributions
accumulate depends on WRS investment earnings. A Money Purchase Benefit
is determined at retirement, equal to whatever pension the employee's
contributions plus an equal amount of employer contributions can buy,
using money purchase rates based on an intentionally low 5
percent interest rate. The DETF and the WRS actuaries expect future
investment returns to average at least 7.8 percent. The difference
between actual return and the 5 percent interest basis for money
purchase rates helps to pay for WRS "dividends" (explained below).
The Formula Benefit
The Formula Benefit is a pension that depends not on employee
contributions but on a benefit formula. It is formulated this way:
Monthly Pension Amount =
X% per Year of Creditable Service
times Final Average Earnings (FAE)
times Early Retirement Factor (ERF)
"X%" in this formula depends on the employee category and whether
years of Creditable Service occurred before or after year 2000. For
general employees, X% is 1.765 percent for years of service before 2000
and 1.6 percent for service after 1999. The Final Average
Earnings (FAE) is the average of an employee's highest three years
of earnings  usually from the last three years worked. The Early
Retirement Factor (ERF) is an adjustment factor that compensates
the plan for expense incurred when an employee retires earlier than is
considered "normal."
Normal and Early Retirement
Each employee group has a Normal Retirement Age (NRA) and an Early
Retirement Age (ERA) when members may first retire. For general
employees these ages are 65 and 55. Members retiring at their NRA are
eligible for the full Formula Benefit, so the Early Retirement Factor
used in the benefit formula is 1.00. For an early retirement, the full
Formula Benefit is reduced by a percentage that depends on how many
years early the member retires and on the member's years of Creditable
Service. The ERF used in this case is a decimal fraction. The main
things to know about early retirement adjustments are that 1) the older
a person is at retirement, the less the Formula Benefit is reduced, and
2) more years of Creditable Service also means less of a reduction to
the Formula Benefit  that is, a larger ERF would be used in either
situation.
The Pension Initially Paid. A retiree's pension is
initially the greater of the Money Purchase Benefit or the Formula
Benefit (as reduced for early retirement).
Dividends
In most years, a dividend will increase retirees' pensions
by some percentage. Dividends are generally permanent increases to
pensions once they are given. Dividends are a form of inflation
protection, similar to costofliving adjustments (COLAs) in Social
Security and in some other retirement plans.
The WRS gave dividends averaging 4.78 percent in all but one of the
years from 1995 to 2004, plus an extra 9.6 percent dividend in 2000. The
DETF conservatively expects future dividends to average at least 2.67
percent  a level of dividends that increases a pension's value by up to
40 percent. For example, assuming 5 percent interest, a $1,000 pension
payable to a 55yearold woman is worth 39 percent more with 2.67
percent dividends, because they add $72,000 in additional present value
to the nodividends present value of $185,000.
The Annual Statement of Benefits
Each January the DETF sends WRS members an Annual Statement of
Benefits. This is an attorney's main source of information regarding WRS
benefits. The following example illustrates information from a benefit
statement and explains the calculations involved.
Example 1: An attorney's client, Ann, is divorcing
Bob, who is a general WRS employee. Ann and Bob are both age 45 when
they divorce on Jan. 1, 2006. The following information is from Bob's
Jan. 1, 2006 Annual Statement of Benefits.
Page 1: Creditable Service = 10.00 years (4.00 pre2000 and 6.00
post1999); Employee Contributions = $24,025.67
Page 2: Earnings: $45,000 (2005), $43,478 (2004), $42,008 (2003);
Final Average Earnings = $3,624; Money Purchase Balance = $48,051.34
"Retirement Benefit Projections":
At 55: Monthly Money Purchase Benefit = $273*; Monthly Formula
Benefit = $391*
At 65: Monthly Money Purchase Benefit = $338*; Monthly Formula
Benefit = $603*
Footnote to these retirement benefit projections: *These monthly
amounts are based on your current balances as of 1/1/2006, and assume
that you have reached the retirement ages shown on that date.
Explanation of the Calculations:
FAE = Highest 3 years of earnings averaged over 36 months: $45,000 +
$43,478 + $42,008 = $130,486, and $130,486 / 36 = $3,624.61
The Money Purchase Balance = 2 x Employee Contributions =
$48,051.34.
The "Money Purchase Rate" is .00570 at age 55 and .00705 at age 65.
Therefore, 1) The Money Purchase Benefit at 55 is $48,051.34 x .00570 =
$273.89, and 2) The Money Purchase Benefit at 65 is $48,051.34 x .00705
= $338.76.
The Formula Benefit at Normal Retirement Age 65 is: 1) For pre2000
service: 1.765% of $3,624.61 x 4.00 years = $255.90, plus 2) For
post1999 service: 1.6% of $3,624.61 x 6.00 years = $347.96. Thus, the
Total Formula Benefit = $603.86.
With 10 years of service, the Formula Benefit is reduced 35.2% at
Early Retirement Age 55: $603.86 reduced by 35.2% = $603.86 x (1.352) =
$603.86 x .648 = $391.30 (the Early Retirement Factor (ERF) used here is
.648).
The calculation of the Formula Benefit earned to date, if taken at
retirement age 55, can be summarized in the following form:
[1.765% x 4 years + 1.6% x 6 years] x $3,624.61 x .648 =
$391.30 monthly pension
(The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has published an excellent
illustration of calculating WRS benefits in its "Informational Paper
74," available on the Internet.^{1})
The greater (not the total) of the Money Purchase and Formula
Benefits is the pension to be paid. Thus, Bob's benefit statement
estimates $391 ($391.30 rounded down) payable at age 55 and $603
($603.86 rounded down) payable at age 65. Most pension experts appraise
one of these two estimates from a benefit statement when a WRS pension
is part of a property settlement. The age 55 benefit amount is most
often used.
Consider the footnote to the Annual Statement of Benefits explaining
these estimates: "These monthly amounts are based on your current
balances as of 1/1/2006, and assume that you have reached the retirement
ages shown on that date." This means that the Money Purchase
Balance, Final Average Earnings, and Early Retirement Factor used to
calculate these retirement benefit projections are each what they would
be if Bob were already age 55 or 65 on Jan. 1, 2006. Thus, these
estimated pension amounts are what Bob would receive at age 55 or 65 if
he quit his job now and then waited until age 55 or 65 to retire (that
is, to receive his pension)  provided that his current Money Purchase
Balance would grow no more until then.
This interpretation of how much pension Bob has already earned is
technically called his Accrued Benefit. This is contrasted with
his Projected Benefit, which is how much pension would
derive from (be imputed to) his 10 years of accrued service and
his current employee contributions if he continued to work until age 55
or 65 and then retired. From the benefit formula (as summarized above)
the future increases in Bob's Final Average Earnings and Early
Retirement Factor between now and age 55 or 65 will both increase the
amount of Formula Benefit eventually derived from his 10 years
of marital Creditable Service. These two factors tend to increase his
Projected Benefit as compared with his Accrued Benefit. Future growth of
his marital employee contributions at interest also will increase his
Money Purchase Benefit, which could also increase his Projected
Benefit.
A Point of Law
These two interpretations of how much pension one has already earned,
the Accrued Benefit versus the Projected Benefit, are at the
heart of an important question of law that is handled differently among
the states: Should a pension's value as a marital asset be found by
appraising the Accrued Benefit or the Projected Benefit? In Wisconsin,
the Accrued Benefit is generally appraised when a pension is to be
included in the settlement of assets. This is what family law attorneys
are most familiar with. However, the Projected Benefit is the basis for
pensions paid to alternate payees under QDROs filed with the WRS. Many
lawyers have not yet become sufficiently familiar with these QDROs to
appreciate this distinction.
Given that the odds are 5to1 that Bob will work until age 55 or
later, we may assume that he will work for at least 10 more years. If a
QDRO were used to divide their marital benefits, then Ann would
eventually receive a pension based on half of Bob's 10 years of service
as of their divorce date, but on a projected basis  that is,
Bob's future increase in Final Average Earnings and Early Retirement
Factor, as well as the future growth of Ann's half of their marital
employee contributions, would all be factored into the calculation of
Ann's pension when she retired as alternate payee under a QDRO.
Figure 1
Comparison of Bob and Ann's Accrued Benefits
with Their Projected Marital Benefits Payable (to Them
in Total) Under a QDRO.


They
Retire at Age "R" 
55

62

65

1/1/2006
Benefit Statment 
Accrued
Benefit 
$391

546

603

Present
Value^{(B)} 
$35,510

27,479

23,178

Their Projected "Marital
Benefits"^{(A)} 
Money Purchase 
$580

1,127

1,521

FAE 
$4,894

6,019

6,578

ERF 
.7760

.9556

1.000

Formula Benefit 
$633

988

1,096

Projected Benefit 
$633

1,127

1,521

Present Value^{(B)} 
$57,421

56,714

58,399

Notes
^{(A)} Money Purchase Benefit = 2 x $24,026
x 1.078^{R45} x Money Purchase Factor. This reflects the
standard assumed 7.8% future rate of return on invested assets.
FAE (Final Average Earnings) is based on assuming
future 3% annual salary increases.
ERF (Early Retirement Factor) = 1 minus
Percent of Early Retirement Reduction.
Formula Benefit = (.01765 x 4.00 + .016 x 6.00) x FAE x
ERF.
^{(B)} Present values are as of 1/1/2006 and
are net of an assumed 20% due for income taxes (15% federal and 5% state
tax rates). Present values are based on these actuarial assumptions: 6%
interest, 2.67% annual dividends (postretirement pension increases),
and WRS mortality rates for males. The valuation method
uses exact actuarial calculations, with interestonly discounting from
retirement age R to age 45, in order to include the value of
preretirement death benefits in these present values.

In Part 2, the mechanics of a Wisconsin Retirement System QDRO are
explained, and the values of this couple's Accrued Benefit and Projected
Benefit are compared in Figure 1. You will see that
the Accrued Benefit as reported on Bob's benefit statement is not a good
estimate of the marital pension that Bob and Ann would end up dividing
under a QDRO, and also that Ann's pension under a QDRO probably would be
almost twice as valuable to her as the cash settlement she could expect
to receive for the pension if a QDRO was not used.
Part 2: WRS Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Under a QDRO, the alternate payee receives a specified percentage (up
to 50 percent) of the WRS member's Employee Contributions Account and
Creditable Service as of the date of divorce. Creditable Service is used
for three purposes under the WRS: 1) to determine eligibility for
certain benefit rights (for example, health insurance); 2) to calculate
the Early Retirement Factor; and 3) in the benefit formula to determine
the amount of Formula Benefit. Creditable Service is lost to the WRS
member only as it is used in the benefit formula.
This statement appears in the DETF's brochure "How Divorce Can Affect
Your WRS Benefits":
"The participant's future eligibility for benefit rights that are
available only after earning a specified number of years of service is
determined as though the participant's service was not reduced through a
QDRO."^{2}
For determining early retirement reductions, both the member and the
alternate payee are treated as if each had all of the member's
Creditable Service, marital and postmarital, up to the time of their
retirements. Also, the alternate payee's Formula Benefit is computed
using the member's Final Average Earnings computed when the alternate
payee retires, not as of the date of divorce.
The Alternate Payee's Money Purchase Benefit
After the divorce, the alternate payee's share of employee
contributions continues to grow with investment earnings, giving the
alternate payee a larger Money Purchase Benefit when he or she retires
than he or she would have been credited with at the date of divorce.
The Alternate Payee's Formula Benefit
The alternate payee's Formula Benefit will never be based on more
Creditable Service than he or she received under the QDRO (usually 50
percent of the marital service). However, if the exspouse remains in
WRS employment, the alternate payee's Formula Benefit will be greater at
retirement than the Accrued Benefit at the time of divorce for two
reasons:
1) The Final Average Earnings used in the benefit formula for the
alternate payee continues to increase as the exspouse's salary
increases. In the DETF's words:
"The [WRS] participant's FAE is not affected by a QDRO. His/her
formula retirement benefits are based on the actual FAE at the time that
the participant's benefit begins. The alternate payee's formula
retirement benefits also are based on the participant's actual FAE at
the time the alternate payee's retirement benefit begins."^{3}
2) If the alternate payee retires early, less reduction will apply to
the alternate payee's Formula Benefit as the exspouse continues to earn
more years of Creditable Service.
"The [alternate payee's] age reduction factor is calculated based on
the years of service the participant [exspouse] would have accrued at
the time the alternate payee's benefit begins as though the
participant's [exspouse's] credited service had never been reduced by a
QDRO."^{4}
Example 2: To illustrate these principles, calculate
Ann's pension as alternate payee under a QDRO if Bob continues to work
at least until age 55 and Ann retires at age 55. Under a QDRO, Ann
receives 50 percent of their employee contributions, or $12,013. Assume
that this increases to $25,458 by her age 55. Double this amount to
allow for the employer's contribution, and convert the total to a Money
Purchase Benefit:
Ann's Money Purchase Benefit = 2 x $25,458 x .00570 = $290.22
per month. (This is Ann's half of the $580 Money Purchase
Benefit shown in Figure 1 below.)
Under a QDRO, Ann receives half of their 10 years of marital
Creditable Service, which is two years of pre2000 service plus three
years of post1999 service. Suppose that Bob's Final Average Earnings
has increased to $4,894.33 by the time Ann retires. They would have 20
years of Creditable Service if not for the divorce, and all 20 years
count toward improving their Early Retirement Factors. Based on all 20
years, their ERF at retirement age 55 has increased from .648 (used in
Example 1) to .776. Therefore, Ann's Formula Benefit would initially
be:
[.01765 x 2 years + .016 x 3 years] x $4,894.33 x .776 =
$316.37 per month. (This is Ann's half of the $633
Formula Benefit shown in Figure 1.)
Ann's Formula Benefit exceeds her Money Purchase Benefit, so her
pension as alternate payee under the QDRO will be the Formula Benefit
amount of $316.37 per month.
This is Ann's half of their Projected Benefit, payable under a QDRO.
This is much larger than her half of their $391.30 Accrued Benefit
indicated on Bob's benefit statement  that is, $316.37 (Projected)
versus $195.65 (Accrued).
The Value of a WRS Pension Under a QDRO
Now examine the value of Bob and Ann's combined marital pension
received under a QDRO.
They were both age 45 when they divorced on Jan. 1, 2006, and we
assume that Bob remains in WRS employment until he retires and that they
will both retire at the same age. Define their Marital Benefits to mean
those that derive from their marital employee contributions ($24,026)
and Creditable Service (10 years). Figure 1 compares the Accrued Benefit
amounts from Bob's benefit statement with their projected Marital
Benefits at retirement ages 55, 62, and 65, and also shows the present
value on Jan. 1, 2006, of each pension considered.
Although age 62 is not illustrated in benefit statements, it is the
age at which most general employees tend to retire. Thus, 62 is the most
meaningful age to use for illustrating Projected Benefits. The $546
Accrued Benefit shown in Figure 1 at age 62 is
calculated in the same way as the amounts shown in Bob's benefit
statement for ages 55 and 65.
Under a QDRO, Ann and Bob each receive half of their Marital
Benefits. At age 62 this is an estimated $563 per month (half of
$1,127). A QDRO appears to be better for Ann than a cash settlement,
since at expected retirement age 62 the estimated $563 pension she would
receive is presently worth about $32,381. This is more than half of the
$56,714 shown in Figure 1, because the Figure 1 values are estimated
using male mortality rates, and females tend to live longer and thus
have higher present values for the same pension. $32,381 is about 82
percent more than the $17,755 (half of $35,510) that Ann probably would
receive as a settlement for the pension. Since the future rate of return
for the Money Purchase Account is likely to be higher than the 7.8
percent assumed in Figure 1, a QDRO may do even
better for Ann than Figure 1 suggests.
If they use a QDRO, Bob's share of the projected Marital Benefits
will equal Ann's share, but with a lower present value because of males'
shorter life expectancy. If Bob retires at age 62, the present value of
his estimated $563 per month would be half of $56,714, or $28,357.
Two important principles are illustrated in Figure
1:
1) The appraised present value of an Accrued Benefit is much larger
when retirement age 55 is assumed than it is for later ages. Although
the most realistic expectation is retirement at age 62, most WRS
appraisals use age 55, when the Accrued Benefit is most valuable.
2) The present value of benefits under a QDRO is nearly the same at
any retirement age.
This second observation leads to two simple formulas, as shown in Figure 2, that attorneys can use to estimate the value
of an alternate payee's pension under a QDRO. (This present value is net
of 20 percent income taxes.)
Figure 2
Formulas for Estimating the Present Value of an Alternate Payee's WRS
Pension Under a QDRO

If the alternate payee is a ...
Man: PV = 0.89 x Marital Employee Contributions x
1.017 ^{N
}Woman: PV = 1.01 x Marital Employee Contributions
x 1.017 ^{N
}(The exponent N is the number of years from divorce until age
62.)
Note: These present values are based on an assumed 6%
interest (discount) rate.

The female version of the formula in Figure 2 gives $32,319 as the
present value of Ann's aftertax pension under a QDRO. This is a very
good estimate, since the more exact value is $32,381.
Part 3: Three Common Errors Found in WRS Appraisals
Attorneys should be alert to three errors often made in appraisals of
WRS benefits.
1) Obsolete Data. The first error is failing to
update estimated pensions from the date of the last benefit statement to
the date of divorce. Many attorneys let this go unchallenged. However,
updating a benefit statement's information to the divorce date is fairly
straightforward, and it typically increases the pension recognized for
divorce settlements by 5 percent to 20 percent. It is, after all, the
pension at the date of divorce and not as of some earlier date that is
the marital property.
2) No dividends? Experts appraising WRS benefits
often omit the value of WRS postretirement pension increases from their
calculations. Because of the high value of dividends and the near
certainty that they will occur, this is a substantial error. For
example, the $35,510 in Figure 1 would have been
only $26,853 if dividends had been overlooked. If Ann and Bob had
settled in cash for their pension, this error could have cost Ann more
than $4,000.
If the expert appraising a WRS pension uses a method based on the
member's life expectancy (as most certified public accountants and many
others do), then the interest ("discount") rate should be reduced by
about 2.67 percent for finding the pension's present value at the
retirement age. If no such reduction is made to the interest rate in a
calculation based on life expectancy, then dividends were
overlooked.
3) Double the Contributions? "Double the employee
contributions" is a popular shortcut used by many attorneys to estimate
the value of a WRS pension. It is understandable that attorneys do so,
since the Money Purchase Benefit supposedly is the pension that double
an employee's contributions will buy. However, this generally is not the
correct value of a WRS pension for these reasons:
a) When the Formula Benefit exceeds the Money Purchase Benefit, then
the Formula Benefit, not the Money Purchase Benefit, is the pension that
is payable and should be appraised. "Double the contributions" is
irrelevant to the Formula Benefit.
b) When the Money Purchase Benefit is the accrued pension to be
appraised, double the contributions would be the present value if WRS
Money Purchase Rates were calculated taking dividends into account, and
if no other considerations were relevant in calculating present values.
However, the Money Purchase Benefit does not contemplate
dividends, and there are other technical factors as well that make
"double the contributions" a poor appraisal method.
Sometimes this shortcut does come close to the correct present value
of WRS Accrued Benefits, as for Bob and Ann, in whose situation "double
the contributions" gives an appraisal that is only 8 percent off the
mark. But in many cases this approach gives a very poor estimate of a
pension's value.
Conclusion
Four things make the Wisconsin Retirement System more challenging to
deal with than most pension plans. The first two are structural in
nature, the third is an interesting point of Wisconsin law, and the
fourth is a regrettable situation that education can improve.
1) It is a complex hybrid plan, combining the features of two types
of retirement plan, Money Purchase and Formula Benefit. It also has
different rules for different classes of employee.
2) It provides automatic increases (dividends) to retirees' pensions,
which greatly increases their value  and the difficulty in appraising
these pensions.
3) Under the WRS, QDROs preserve the full potential value, as if no
divorce had occurred, of an exspouse's community interest in the
pension by paying the Projected Benefit, rather than the Accrued Benefit
 whereas only the value of the Accrued Benefit is considered when a
pension is divided as part of a marital asset settlement. This is an
interesting point of Wisconsin law.
4) Many pension experts on whom attorneys and the courts rely for
guidance seem unaware of some or all of the three common errors
described above  or of some other errors, for that matter. This is a
regrettable situation that can be improved through education and by
diligence on the part of attorneys, judges, and pension experts who do
understand the issues addressed in this article.
Attorneys who understand the Wisconsin Retirement System are able to
give their clients the best possible advice when WRS benefits must be
divided in a divorce. This is in the best interest of both clients and
attorneys: the clients are given invaluable assistance in a difficult
situation and receive fair value for their community pension rights, and
the attorneys avoid possible malpractice liability, while gaining the
welldeserved reputation of being reliable counselors in this difficult
area of law.
Endnotes
Wisconsin
Lawyer