Methods for Dividing Pensions In Illinois

Illinois law provides two methods for dividing pensions: the "immediate offset approach" and the "reserved jurisdiction approach." In re Marriage of Whiting, 179 Ill. App. 3d 187, 534 N.E.2d 468, 470-71, 128 Ill. Dec. 286 (Ill. App. 3d 1989). In In re Marriage of Korper, 131 Ill. App. 3d 753, 475 N.E.2d 1333, 1338, 86 Ill. Dec. 766 (Ill. App. 3d 1985), these two different methods were summarized as follows: In an appropriate case, the court can reduce the pension plan to present value and award an offsetting value of money or property to the nonemployee spouse. This is the immediate offset approach. In other cases, the court can order the employee spouse to pay the allocated portion of the fund, as disbursed, retaining jurisdiction to enforce the decree. This is the reserved jurisdiction approach. The distribution of marital property is a matter within the discretion of the trial court, and will not be disturbed absent a showing of abuse of that discretion. Korper, 475 N.E.2d at 1336.