the Plans do not meet ERISA's requirements for the "church plan" exemption because they were not "established,"and are not "maintained" by a church.Reporting on the lawsuit, BNA Daily Report for Executives (Nov. 1, 2016) [subscription required] says:
The 12-count lawsuit against Adventist Health differs from many of its predecessors because it targets several pension plans, including a multiemployer plan covering several Adventist-affiliated entities and a group of frozen plans in which participants are no longer accruing benefits.
The case is also noteworthy for being the first to target a hospital system with ties to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The vast majority of the nearly 40 church plan lawsuits have targeted Catholic health-care providers.Petitions for certiorari in other cases posing the same issue are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. (See prior posting).