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Blog Tag: ERISA

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations on disability claims procedures which apply to disability claims filed on or after April 1, 2018 for ERISA plans that condition benefits or vesting on a determination of disability. The purpose of this bulletin is to assist employers/plan sponsors with the process which “may” be necessary with regard to plan amendment.

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In 1980, amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) brought plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations into ERISAs church plan definition, but it left unclear whether a church-affiliated organization could establish a church plan. In several lawsuits, participants in retirement plans maintained by church-affiliated hospitals asserted that the plans did not qualify for the exemption – and thus were subject to ERISAs vesting, reporting and disclosure, funding, trust and fiduciary rules – because they had not been established by a church. The Third, Seventh and Ninth Circuits agreed with the participants and ruled that the hospital plans were subject to ERISA.

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