Alfred E. Gallade - Page 13

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          do not apply to a “waiver of a right to payment of benefits made            
          by a designated beneficiary.”  We disagree.                                 
               “As a general rule, rights under an ERISA plan may not be              
          waived or assigned”.  Ferris v. Marriott Family Restaurants,                
          Inc., 878 F. Supp. 273, 277 (D. Mass. 1994) (emphasis added).               
          The waiver here effectively changed the beneficiary of the Plan.            
          Such a waiver of benefits is equivalent to an assignment or                 
          alienation, which is statutorily prohibited in the qualified                
          pension plan at issue.                                                      
               Petitioner argues that ERISA section 206(d)(1) and I.R.C.              
          section 401(a)(13) simply require that plans contain some type of           
          antialienation provision.  Such provisions, however, must be                
          given effect.  By violating the statutory provisions, the Plan              
          ceases to be qualified.  “To be qualified, both a plan’s terms              
          and operations must meet the statutory requirements.”  Fazi v.              
          Commissioner, 102 T.C. 695, 702 (1994); see Ludden v.                       
          Commissioner, 620 F.2d 700, 702 (9th Cir. 1980), affg. 68 T.C.              
          826 (1977); see also Guidry v. Sheet Metal Workers Natl. Pension            
          Fund, 493 U.S. 365, 371 (1990) (ERISA section 206(d)(1) prohibits           
          the assignment or alienation of pension plan benefits).  GCI’s              
          amendment to the Plan providing for the waiver, if given effect,            
          violates the antialienation requirements of ERISA section                   
          206(d)(1) and I.R.C. section 401(a)(13).                                    
               Petitioner also argues that waivers are permissible if                 
          “knowingly and voluntarily” made; however, petitioner fails to              

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