Continental Airlines could not recover pension distributions paid to pilots’ ex-spouses, despite “sham” divorces

Continental Airlines in Brown v. Continental Airlines, Inc., (2011, CA5) 2011 WL 2780505 was not entitled to recover pension plan distributions that were paid to the ex-spouses of a group of divorced plan participants, even though the payments were made on account of alleged “sham” divorces, since ERISA does not authorize plan administrators to consider the subjective intentions or good faith underlying a divorce.

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