June 8, 2017Published Article

What To Know About High Court's ERISA Exemption Decision


Since the enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor have interpreted the so-called “church plan exemption” to permit religious-affiliated organizations such as hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and charities to establish and maintain employee benefit plans exempt from ERISA requirements.

ERISA, the federal law governing employee benefit plans, imposes certain administrative requirements on employee benefit plans and, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Code, requires compliance with minimum funding, vesting and nondiscrimination rules applicable to qualified retirement plans. Nevertheless, ERISA exempts “church plans” from these requirements.

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