Suggestions for the DOL, the Treasury, ERISA Plan Sponsors, Plan Administrators, and Representatives of Plan Participants or Potential Beneficiaries after Kennedy v. Plan Administrator of DuPont Savings and Investment Plan

13 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2009 Last revised: 8 Oct 2009

Date Written: September 25, 2009

Abstract

In Kennedy v. DuPont Savings and Investment Plan (the "DuPont Plan"), 2009 U.S. LEXIS 869 (January 26, 2009) the Supreme Court appeared to proclaim a "bright-line rule" that plan documents determine ERISA plan distributions. However, the Court blurred the bright-line rules applicable to (1) benefit entitlements, (2) the alienation of pension benefits, (3) plan benefit distributions, and (4) qualified domestic relations orders. The basis for much of this blurring would vanish if the U. S. Department of Labor ("the DOL"), and the U. S. Treasury ("the Treasury") affirmed their pre-Kennedy approach to many of these issues. Employee benefit practices may be improved if the DOL, the Treasury, plan sponsors, plan administrators, and representatives of plan participants and potential plan beneficiaries follow the suggestions set forth.

Keywords: ERISA, survivor, claim, marital, Supreme Court, QDRO, divorce, retirement benefits, benefit designations, life insurance, pension, employee benefit

JEL Classification: J32, K31, K32, K34, M52

Suggested Citation

Feuer, Albert, Suggestions for the DOL, the Treasury, ERISA Plan Sponsors, Plan Administrators, and Representatives of Plan Participants or Potential Beneficiaries after Kennedy v. Plan Administrator of DuPont Savings and Investment Plan (September 25, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1346227 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1346227

Albert Feuer (Contact Author)

Law Offices of Albert Feuer ( email )

Suite 7M
110-45 71st Road
Forest Hills, NY 11375
United States
718-263-9874 (Phone)
718-575-0006 (Fax)

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