Advocate Health Care Network Retirement Plan Litigation
Stapleton v. Advocate Health Care Network & Subsidiaries
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Case No. 14-1873
Plaintiffs alleged that Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”), an Illinois non-profit corporation and the largest healthcare provider in Illinois, operating 12 hospitals and more than 250 healthcare facilities, was improperly claiming that its defined benefit pension plan, the Advocate Health Care Network Pension Plan (the “Advocate Pension Plan” or “Plan”) is exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), a federal law, pursuant to a statutory exemption intended for “church plans.”
Plaintiffs alleged multiple reasons why the Advocate Pension Plan does not qualify as an ERISA-exempt church plan, including that Advocate is not controlled by or associated with a church and that the Plan does not satisfy the statutory requirement that a church plan be maintained by either a church or by a church-associated organization whose “principal-purpose” is the funding of administration of benefit plan for church employees.
Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants violated ERISA, and that the exemption from ERISA, as applied to the Plan, is an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause.
On June 27, 2018, Judge Edmond E. Chang entered an Order and Final Judgment approving the Settlement. For additional information regarding the Settlement, please visit the Settlement website.