Exemption of ERISA Benefits Under Section 522(b)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code

This Note argues that the two federal statutes are exempting statutes under section 522(b)(2)(A), and thus BRISA funds should be exempt in a bankruptcy action when the debtor uses the state exemption scheme. Part I argues that standard principles of statutory interpretation, as applied to the language of the bankruptcy statute, refute the possibility that Congress intended the list of statutes in the legislative history to be exclusive. Having established that statutes other than those listed may be included under section 522(b )(2)(A), Part II first refutes the argument that the absence of BRISA from the list of exempting statutes implies that BRISA was not intended to be an exempting statute. Part II then compares the BRISA provisions with the listed statutes, considering both the extent to which they protect property from creditors and the nature of the property they protect, and concludes that it is consistent with congressional intent to treat the two BRISA statutes as exempting statutes. Part III argues that the policy objectives of both BRISA and the Bankruptcy Code will be served only by interpreting section 522(b)(2)(A) as providing an exemption for BRISA funds.