On Monday, June 5, 2017, the Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited decision on church plans in favor of the church plan sponsors. The case revolved around whether plans that were maintained by church-affiliated entities (in this case, hospitals) met the exemption for church plans from compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
ERISA governs, among other things, retirement plans sponsored by employers for their employees and contains rigorous requirements for these plans, including minimum funding and contributions for certain plans, reporting/disclosure requirements as well as coverage under the PBGC insurance program (a federal insurance-type program for defined benefit plans). Church plans are generally exempt from ERISA, and many church plans have received opinion letters from the IRS and DOL over the past 40+ years stating such. However, since many pension plans (church plans and non-church plans) have become underfunded over the past few years, some employees have Continue reading