This Note critically analyzes the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's reasons for decreasing the level of deference used to review the decisions of benefit plan fiduciaries. The evolution of the deferential "arbitrary and capricious" or "abuse of discretion" standard of review will be traced from its inception through its less deferential definition in Salley v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. This Note first concludes that the current, deferential interpretation of the abuse of discretion standard of review is seriously flawed. Second, this Note contends that despite the increased time and cost constraints that could accompany de facto ERISA plan administration by the courts, the Fifth Circuit's decision in Salley is a much-needed check on the power of fiduciaries.
Jon C. Bruning,
ERISA Plan Fiduciaries Beware: The Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review Is No Longer a Guarantee of Judicial Deference—Salley v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 966 F.2d 1011 (5th Cir. 1992),
73 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol73/iss4/6