Jenner & Block

Client Advisory: Supreme Court Rules on ERISA Beneficiary Designation

In this client advisory, Associate Joshua Rafsky discusses the case of Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for DuPont Savings and Investment Plan, 555 U.S. ___ (2009) that was decided on January 26, 2009, in which the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that a former spouse’s waiver of entitlement to benefits under her ex-husband’s ERISA pension plan was invalid because the waiver did not comport with the terms of the plan. The plan administrator properly paid benefits to the ex-spouse in accordance with the decedent’s beneficiary designation. In this client advisory, attorneys from our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice and ERISA Litigation Practice summarize the case and identify important ramifications of the Court’s decision.