Majauskas Formula Law & Legal Definition


According to New York State Equitable Distribution Law, pension benefits accrued during the course of a marriage are assets subject to distribution when the marriage is dissolved. These benefits are distributed using either an actuarial present value or the “Majauskas Formula”.

The Majauskas Formula method, as it is commonly known in New York State, derives its name from the case Majauskas v. Majauskas, 61 N.Y.2d 481 (N.Y. 1984),which established it as law in New York State. This case was originally decided in 1981 and then affirmed by the Appellate Division of the Fourth Department in 1983 and finally in the Court of Appeals in 1984. The Court’s decision was to confirm that (1) vested, unmatured pension benefits were marital property to the extent they were earned during the marriage and (2) that the proper formula for determining the benefits to be awarded to a non-participant spouse was based on the benefits accrued at retirement, not as of the date of divorce. This type of approach is sometimes referred to as a "coverture formula".

This formula is used in some of the other states as well as New York.