Pension Plans

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What is the Employee Benefits Security Administration?

You have likely heard of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that establishes minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. But, do you know anything about the agency that manages it? To best understand ERISA, it is important to know the history and structure of the agency that manages it. Pensions have a […]

Pension obligations vs. religious exemptions: Does this make sense?

Pension plans consist of contractual promises made by employers to reward employees for their faithful and devoted service and also serve as a retention incentive to encourage employees to remain with their employers. However, the traditional defined benefit pension plan that promises a monthly lifetime annuity to workers and their spouses has been rapidly disappearing, […]

When it comes to ‘or,’ context matters

A recent ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates that the context of words can make a dramatic difference in the interpretation of a pension plan. In Schane v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local 710 Pension Fund, 2014 U.S.App.LEXIS 14118 (7th Cir. July 23), the appeals court established that the word […]

Churches, pensions and ERISA

A recent federal court ruling in Michigan outlined the scope of a provision in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that exempts “church plans” from being subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act funding and reporting requirements. In Overall v. Ascension, 2014 WL 1908428, 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 65418 (E.D.Mich. May 13, 2014), the plaintiff brought a […]