The opinion of the court was delivered by: MAROVICH
GEORGE M. MAROVICH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiffs, the Inter-Local Pension Fund of the Graphic Communication International Union ("the Fund") and its trustees, filed a complaint against two participants in the Fund and their ex-spouses, seeking a declaratory judgment and other equitable relief that the Fund is not required to comply with state court orders directing it to pay the ex-spouses a portion of their former husbands' retirement monies under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). Presently, plaintiffs move for summary judgment against defendant June Gill ("Gill"), one of the ex-spouses.
For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is granted.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Established in 1950, the Fund is a trust forming part of a plan for the payment of retirement and other benefits funded only by contributions from employees. Employers do not contribute to the Fund and have no participation in its establishment or administration. The Fund is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(18) of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(18).
The provisions of the Trust Indenture govern the operations of the Fund. Section 12 of Article V of the Fund's Trust Indenture prohibits the assignment or transfer of any pension or other benefit.
Defendant Thomas Gill is a participant in the Fund. On December 20, 1985, Judge Leander J. Foley, Jr. of the Family Court branch of the Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, entered an order for assignment of interest in retirement plan in the matter of Gill v. Gill, case number 670-548. It is undisputed that this order is a qualified domestic relations order ("QDRO") as that term is defined in section 206(d)(3) of Erisa, 29 U.S.C. § 1056(d)(3).
The order directs the Fund to pay fifty percent of Thomas Gill's death benefits and monthly pension benefits to June Gill, commencing on or after December 29, 1988.
The Fund was notified of the entry of the order and was requested to make payments of benefits in accordance with the order. The plaintiffs then brought this suit in Federal District Court.
In their motion for summary judgment, plaintiffs argue that the Fund is not required to comply with the state court domestic relations order because the order was issued in reliance on section 206(d)(3) of ERISA (the QDRO provision) which expressly does not apply to the Fund. Plaintiffs fear that payment of a pension benefit to Gill pursuant to the state court order would violate the anti-alienation provision of the Fund's Trust Indenture, Article V, Section 12 as well as constitute a breach of their fiduciary duty under section 404(a)(1) of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1104(a)(1).
Gill argues in response that the Fund's distribution of pension benefits is sanctioned not only by the QDRO provision of ERISA, but is also contemplated by the terms of the Fund's Trust Indenture.
Section 206(d)(1) of ERISA expressly prohibits assignment and alienation of plan benefits:
Each pension plan shall provide that benefits provided under the plan may not be assigned or alienated. 29 U.S.C. § 1056(d)(1).
In 1984, section 206(d) was amended to include section 206(d)(3), exempting qualified domestic relations orders from the anti-alienation requirements of section 206(d)(1) of ERISA.
See 29 U.S.C § 1056(d)(3).
Section 514(a) of ERISA preempts "any and all State laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan" covered by ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1144(a). This preemption provision of ERISA, however, does not apply to "qualified domestic relation orders ...