• Court Rules Unanimously in Church Pension Plan Cases
  • June 8, 2017 | Authors: Ronald G. Cluett; Joanne C. Youn
  • Law Firm: Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered - Washington Office
  • On June 5, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton that pension plans maintained by certain church-affiliated entities are exempt from ERISA regardless of whether they were originally established by a church. This case coming out of the Seventh Circuit, was addressed together with Saint Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan from the Third Circuit and Dignity Health v. Rollins from the Ninth Circuit. In this client alert, we review the scope of the ruling in Advocate, identify issues requiring further legal development, and offer considerations for employers in determining the ERISA status of their pension plans.