The Rutter Group recently invited QDRO Counsel’s Louise Nixon to be a part of a panel to discuss pension benefit division. The event was called “Complex Financial Matters – It’s Dollars & Sense” sponsored by The Rutter Group. It was a three day program consisting of speakers and a well-seasoned panel of Judges and practitioners who are considered the experts in the complex interplay of family law and financial matters. Attorneys Louise Nixon, Richard Muir and moderator The Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis led a 4 hours power point discussion regarding the pitfalls and opportunities in the division of retirement benefits in divorce. The talk went into detail considerations taken in drafting QDROs, the division of ERISA plans versus the division of public plans including CalPERS, military and federal employees, and protecting survivor benefits. Ms. Nixon also discussed appropriate judgment language for pension benefit division that adequately protects the parties and the family law practitioners. The discussion included the impact of recent case law including Green, Sonne and other recent cases discussing how property interests are characterized and divided in pension accounts.