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Court Allows ERISA Claims to Proceed against Employer?ÇÖs ?Ç£Church?Ç¥ Plan

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that for a pension plan to be a ?Ç£church plan,?Ç¥ exempt from ERISA?ÇÖs requirements, it must have been established by a church or convention of churches.?á The court reasoned that even though ERISA had been amended to permit a church plan to be ?Ç£maintained?Ç¥ by a church-associated organization, the amendment did not obviate the requirement that the church plan be ?Ç£established?Ç¥ by a church or convention of churches.?á The court declined to defer to the IRS?ÇÖs interpretation, set forth in a series of private letter rulings, on the grounds that those rulings only apply to the persons who request them and are not entitled to judicial deference.?á As a result, the court did not dismiss an employee?ÇÖs claim that the employer?ÇÖs plan was subject to, and not in compliance with, ERISA. Rollins v. Dignity Health, No. C13-1450 TEH (N.D.… Continue Reading

January 2014
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