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Conn. Catholic hospital settles pension lawsuit

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St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Modern Healthcare reports that “another hospital has agreed to settle¬†{a lawsuit} for $107 million in what’s become a growing list of cases over whether faith-based health systems have to follow federal rules meant to protect employee pensions.”

“Carol Kemp-DeLisser, the pension participant who filed the class-action case, alleged that St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, owned by Trinity Health Corp., wrongly classified its pension plan as a “church plan.” Church plans are not subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Ms. Kemp-DeLisser alleged that St. Francis failed to adhere to ERISA’s minimum finding standards.”

“St. Francis, however, argued that because it is associated with and controlled by the Catholic Church, its pension plan is a church plan, exempt from ERISA.”

And so the Hartford, Conn., hospital has agreed to  immediately pour another $17 million into its pension fund as part of the settlement and then contribute another $10 million a year for nine years.

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Wellesley, Mass