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Text of Third Circuit Opinion: ERISA Church Plan Exemption Not Available to Retirement Plan Established and Maintained by Catholic Hospital (PDF)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitLink to more items from this source
Dec. 30, 2015
27 pages. "St. Peter's [argues] that the language of section 3(33)(C)(i), which says that a plan 'established and maintained' by a church 'includes' a plan 'maintained' by a qualifying church agency, means that any plan maintained, even if not established, by such an agency is exempt. This would be persuasive if there were only one requirement -- maintenance -- for an exemption. But here we have two requirements -- establishment and maintenance -- and only the latter is expanded by the use of 'includes.' ... [E]ven if St. Peter's may maintain an exempt church plan, it cannot establish one. The plain terms of ERISA only make these exemptions available to plans established in the first instance by churches." [Kaplan v. St. Peter's Healthcare System, No. 15-1172 (3d Cir. Dec. 29, 2015)]

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