NEW ORLEANS - A district court did not abuse its discretion in holding that benefits paid to retirees of SBC Communications Inc. were not pension benefits within the meaning of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 USCS § 1001 et seq., the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 (Frank Stoffels, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al.,, No. 11-50148, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7584).