The Rhode Island House of Representatives and the State Senate have each passed legislation that would require religious organizations that manage pension plans in Rhode Island to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to their plan participants.
Specifically, the State Senate version would require all pension plans not covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) with at least 200 members to submit to a public reporting of all its liabilities and assets.
Last July, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner joined retired members of the St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island pension plan to propose new transparency requirements for pension plans managed by religious organizations. At that time, he announced that he will seek legislation in the 2019 General Assembly session that would require pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to their plan participants.
The legislation was pushed after the $85 million St. Joseph pension plan—which covers current and former employees of Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals—was left insolvent when contributions to it ceased following the sale of Fatima and Roger Williams to Prospect Medical Holdings in 2014.Each chamber will now consider and vote on the other’s legislation. If passed by both the House and the Senate, the legislation will be sent to Governor Gina Raimondo.