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What is a coverture fraction?

A coverture fraction is a tool used by an appraiser to separate that portion of the benefits which was earned during the marriage, from that portion of the benefits which were earned outside of the period of marriage. The coverture fraction represents that portion of the value of the benefits attributable to the marriage. The numerator of the fraction represents the total period of time the pensionholder participated in the plan during the marriage, and the denominator is the total period of time the pensionholder participated in the plan as of the cut-off date. The following example illustrates the mechanics of a coverture fraction:

Marriage Date: June 30, 1978
Date Employment Started: January 30, 1970.
Cut-Off Date: June 30, 1998.

The total number of years of participation in pension plan during the marriage equals 20 (from June 30, 1978 to June 30, 1998).

The total number of years of participation in the pension plan as of June 30, 1998 equals 28.5 (from January 30, 1970 to June 30, 1998).

Therefore,20.00 Years = 0.7018 or 70.18%
28.50 Years

This means that 70.18% of the present value of the pension as of June 30, 1998 would be attributable to the marriage. For example: The total present value of the employee’s pension plan was $100,000.00 as of June 30, 1998. The $100,000.00 would be multiplied by 70.18% to give a value for the marital portion of $70,180.00.