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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38899
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am an ex spouse of a Sears employee. We divorced 20 years

Customer Question

I am an ex spouse of a Sears employee. We divorced 20 years ago and in that divorce was a qdro approved by Sears. We are both 65 years old this year and I have decided that I would like to receive the Sears pension that I am due. I contacted Sears Pension dept. They asked me to send them a copy of my divorce decree which included the qdro. Within a weeks time I sent it to them. This was two months ago and I have never received a response from them since. I started calling every week to receive an update and to find out if they even received the qdro. Every time I call I am told that yes, they received what I sent and that it is still under review. When I asked how long this would take, they never have an answer, telling me that all qdros are different. Some are complicated and some are not. Which means the time varies for the review of each one. I can't even get an amount from them of what I am to receive. Is this normal? If not, do I need to obtain the services of a law firm to help me. There obviously is no one there to help me or fight for me. Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.


The employer is correct that a QDRO can be difficult to interpret. This is especially true of a QDRO from 20 years ago, because, frankly, many such orders were poorly drafted, due to the fact that lawyers are not generally very good at accounting, and because there was little standarization in QDRO format 20+ years ago.

The employer will not stall forever. It will either start paying out, or it will inform you that the QDRO is invalid. Rather than starting with a costly law firm to try to force a result from the employer, you may want to contact the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Securities Administration (EBSA). EBSA can call the employer and request information, which sometimes will produce positive results at no cost to the employee or nonemployee alternate payee.

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