Supreme Court Rules 8-0 That Faith-Based Hospitals Are Exempt From Federal Pension Law
Employees of three church-affiliated hospital systems had challenged the long-standing interpretation of such organizations as being exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Top Court Exempts Church-Affiliated Hospitals From Pension Law
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that church-affiliated hospital systems do not have to comply with a federal law governing employee pensions, overturning lower court decisions that could have cost the hospitals billions of dollars. The court ruled 8-0 that church-affiliated organizations are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a 1974 law that forces private employers to follow rules aimed at protecting pension plan participants. (Chung, 6/5)
Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Advocate Health Care In Pension Case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Advocate Health Care and two other religiously affiliated hospital systems don't have to follow a federal law designed to protect employee pensions. The justices ruled unanimously in favor of Advocate, with the exception of new Justice Neil Gorsuch, who did not take part in the decision. The ruling, which reversed a lower court's decision, will save a number of religiously affiliated hospitals in Illinois and across the country from having to potentially pour more money into funding and supporting their pension systems. But it also means employees of those hospitals may not enjoy the same protections as employees of many other businesses when it comes to their pensions. (Schencker, 6/5)
Supreme Court Backs Faith-Based Hospitals' ERISA Exemptions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously issued a decision that revives a decades-old practice exempting faith-based hospitals from federal pension regulations. The eight justices ruled that faith-based hospitals' pension plans qualify for the so-called "church plan" exemption from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Hospitals and health systems ranging from Dignity Health and Advocate Health Care down to one-hospital systems such as St. Peter's Healthcare System in New Brunswick, N.J., will not have to pay premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. or fully fund their pensions to meet ERISA requirements. (Teichert, 6/5)