Many proposed QDROs are rejected by plan administrators, and though the reasons vary, the more common mistakes are based on misinformation.

By Theodore K. Long, Jr., Actuary

Family lawyers and their clients often think that if a judge makes an order, the pension or retirement plan must comply. In reality, the plan administrator makes the final decision, and certain basic errors will contribute to the likelihood of QDRO rejection. Ensuring all the necessary information is accurate – such as the complete name of the pension plan, the QDRO being applicable to the plan, the valuation being on a permitted date – will help minimize mistakes leading to QDRO rejection. By ensuring the QDRO is complete, with applicable details included, the family lawyer can be confident the QDRO will be accepted by the court and plan administrator alike.

Click here to learn how to avoid the 9 most common reasons that plan administrators reject QDROs.


Theodore K. Long founded Pension Appraisers, Inc. in 1989, which specializes in determining the present value of defined pension benefits for equitable distribution purposes and preparing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.  In 2009, he formed sister company Pension Appraiser Online, Inc., which operates and These two webbased solutions have been innovative in the pension valuation and QDRO preparation industry.