Way too quiet this morning. Secretary is not in and spent some time catching up on e-mail. I am beginning to think that catching up on e-mail is akin to the hamster actually getting somewhere when its runs on its wheel.
But The Indiana Lawyer Update did bring news of cases being transferred from the Indiana Court of Appeals to the Indiana Supreme Court and included this one:
Anne M. Bingley v. Charles B. Bingley, No. 02S03-1002-CV-122, the Court of Appeals ruled for the first time that post-retirement health-insurance premiums paid by a former employer aren't a marital asset subject to a division. The trial court didn't include Charles Bingley's employer-paid, post-retirement health-insurance premiums when dividing the couple's assets during the dissolution process.
Anne Bingley argued the payments fall under subsection 2 of Indiana Code Section 31-9-2-98(b), as a retirement benefit not forfeited upon the termination of employment, and cited several Indiana cases that found pension benefits to be marital assets. But the Court of Appeals ruled the premiums weren't a marital asset subject to division. The cases Anne cited involved monthly monetary payments made directly to the pension-holding spouse; Charles' benefit wasn't payable to him but was non-elective and couldn't be divided or transferred, wrote Judge Elaine Brown.
In his concurring opinion, Judge Terry Crone encouraged the Indiana General Assembly to address a perceived ambiguity in the definition of "retirement benefits" and "vested" in terms of the Internal Revenue Code.