Given a third shot, a judge found the parties finally got the settlement terms right.
The case concerns the St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island Retirement Plan, which the lawsuit says failed to be a 'church plan' under ERISA.
On a second motion for preliminary approval of the settlement agreement in the church plan case, a federal judge still found a conflict between one subgroup of the class and the overall class of plaintiffs.
The high court decided that a court in Puerto Rico had no jurisdiction to order the seizure of property from Catholic entities in order to fulfill a court judgment to pay $4.7 million in pension benefits.
Among other things, the archdiocese of Newark was accused of filing for "church plan" status to avoid having to fund the pension plan of hospital employees.
A district court granted summary judgment to OSF Healthcare System, but the 7th Circuit found there are genuine issues of material law that warrant more discovery in the case.
Using other court decisions, including one from the Supreme Court, the medical center's plan was found to fall under the "church plan" definition in ERISA.
Both chambers of the state assembly have passed legislation that would require religious organizations that manage pension plans to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to plan participants.
A judge ordered the Archdiocese of San Juan to pay $4.7 million to teachers whose pension plan had been terminated, and the Archdiocese claims that since then, the Puerto Rico government has seized assets from entities not related to the plan.
The interim decision is a mixed bag that falls more in favor of the plaintiffs, but it by no means concludes the litigation—not least because plaintiffs have already filed a second amended complaint.
Its former executive pastor and his wife presented evidence showing that supplemental retirement benefits were improperly taken in November 2011 and placed in the church's building campaign.
In a series of private letter rulings, the IRS has determined that plans in question, including a 403(b) plan, are church plans under the definition clarified in a Supreme Court decision.
The legislation helps protect defendants who settle lawsuits from claims from co-defendants.
According to the compliant, the defined benefit (DB) plan was required to adhere to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) funding rules.
Former committee members—who were not members at the time the complaint was filed—filed motions to remove themselves as defendants in the case; some of the motions were granted, but a couple were denied.