Saturday, February 28, 2015

Court Says Religiously-Affiliated Hospital's Plan Is Exempt From ERISA

Another federal district court has weighed in on whether retirement plans created and maintained by religiously-affiliated hospitals qualify for the "Church Plan" exemption from ERISA.  At issue is statutory language that is ambiguous as to whether a plan must have been created by a church itself in order to qualify for the exemption.  In Lann v. Trinity Health Corp., (D MD, Feb. 24, 2015), a Maryland federal district court resolved the issue in a brief written order referring to reasons the judge stated orally on the record in the case.  The court held that the plan qualifies for the exemption. BNA's Daily Report for Executives [subscription required] says that with this decision, district courts are split 3-3 on the issue. Several of the cases are on appeal.