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Smith v. OSF Healthcare System, et al.


On December 20, 2018, the Pension Rights Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in support of the appellants in Smith v. OSF Healthcare System, et al. The brief argues that the ERISA church plan exemption applies only to plans established and maintained by churches or church pension boards and does not extend to plans established by other church-affiliated nonprofit organizations such as hospitals, schools and social service agencies. The brief contends that the district court erred in ruling that a pension plan’s internal employee benefits committee satisfies the statutory requirement that an exempt plan be maintained by a religiously-affiliated “organization, whether a civil law corporation or otherwise.” That language was intended to apply only to church pension boards, which are financial institutions established by churches that are usually incorporated but sometimes use other nonprofit structures such as trusts or unincorporated associations.

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