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Church pension plans

The facts about church pension plans

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Almost all private retirement plans are required to comply with federal pension and tax laws. There is only one major exception: Church pension plans. Employees covered by church pension plans are denied the basic protections provided to virtually all other private-sector workers who participate in pension plans.

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Church-plan status under increased scrutiny

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A growing number of lawsuits and some key court rulings are making it harder for church-affiliated defined benefit plans to be exempt from federal pension rules.

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Church pension plan status rejected by U.S. District Court

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In one of five major class-action lawsuits challenging church-affiliated sponsors of defined benefit plans, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the pension plan of Dignity Health is covered by ERISA.

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PBGC Director Gotbaum to Step Down In August; Groups Praise His Efforts

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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Director Joshua Gotbaum plans to step down from the post he has held the past four years.

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Federal judge: Saint Peter's pension case can proceed

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A New Jersey federal district court judge recently ruled that the pension plan of city-based Saint Peter’s University Hospital is not a "church plan" exempt from the protections of federal pension law.

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Decision in Saint Peter’s “Church Plan” Case a Victory for Workers and Retirees; Lawsuit against Hospital Can Proceed

News Release

WASHINGTON – On Monday, a New Jersey federal district court judge ruled that a pension plan established by religiously-affiliated hospital is not a “church plan” exempt from the protections of federal pension law. The Honorable Michael A.

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Courts question law leaving pensions unprotected

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New rulings against Catholic hospital chains on both coasts have intensified a faceoff between religiously affiliated employers and workers who are alarmed by the companies' efforts to avoid insuring or funding their pensions.

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Challenges to 2 church plans move forward

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On Monday, a U.S. District Court in New Jersey dismissed a motion by Saint Peter's Healthcare System, New Brunswick, N.J., to stop a lawsuit by pension plan participants challenging a recent ruling by the IRS that it was a church plan exempt from ERISA. The IRS determination, wrote Judge Michael Shipp, "conflicts with the plain text of the statute and is therefore unreasonable."

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Federal court rejects church plan status for Dignity Health

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In the first decision among five major class-action lawsuits challenging church-affiliated sponsors of defined benefit plans, a federal judge found that ERISA rules do apply.

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Law shields churches, leaves pensions unprotected

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Pension shortfalls at some religiously affiliated hospitals, businesses and social service agencies are raising new alarms and spotlighting a largely overlooked gap in the law protecting Americans' retirement benefits.

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