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Court decisions

Church Plan Challengers Score Second Appellate Victory

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The nationwide litigation effort accusing large hospitals of using ERISA's church plan exemption to underfund their pension plans by millions of dollars scored its second big victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled against Illinois-based Advocate Health Care Network.

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Appeals court upholds ruling denying church-plan status for health-care system

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Karen Ferguson, director of the Pension Rights Center, called the decision “a terrific victory for thousands of orderlies, cafeteria workers, nurses and others who were told throughout their careers at Saint Peter’s that they were fully protected by federal law.”

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Retiree benefits are facing many threats

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Retirees face a less secure future due to decisions soon to come from the U.S. Supreme Court, due to changes to Social Security and Medicare, and due to the enactment of the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act. They deserve full disclosure and the truth.

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What are the limits of congressional power to authorize suits?

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Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, which will be argued on Monday, Nov. 2, has the potential to significantly change the law in terms of the ability of federal statutes to authorize suits in federal courts.

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Supreme Court Decision in Tibble a Victory for 401(k) Participants

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WASHINGTON – On May 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of employees in Tibble v. Edison International, a class-action lawsuit filed by participants in the power company’s 401(k) plan.

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Supreme Court decision should help lower 401(k) fees

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In a decision that should put further downward pressure on 401(k) fees, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the trustees in charge of such plans have an ongoing duty to monitor plan investments.

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6th Cir. Church Plan Case Against Ascension Remanded for Settlement Consideration

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The first church plan case to reach the federal appellate courts is being returned to the district court to consider a proposed settlement between the parties, according to an order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Overall v. Ascension Health, 6th Cir., No. 14-1735, 3/17/15).

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Justices Wrestle With Monitoring Duties Of 401(k) Fiduciaries During Oral Argument

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Whether 401(k) plan fiduciaries in monitoring investments must look for cheaper options was the question dividing justices and litigants when the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument Feb. 24 in a case involving the time frame in which plan participants can challenge their plan's investment options.

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Fiduciary breach issue gets Supreme Court hearing

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The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next month in an ERISA case that could greatly expand guidelines for defined contribution plan executives' fiduciary responsibilities.

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Fiduciary Re-Proposal, Fee Disclosures On Deck for 2015; MEPs Wait in the Wings

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Top employee benefit issues for the Department of Labor in 2015 are similar to those in 2014: a re-proposal that would expand the definition of "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and guidance on plan fee disclosures.

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