SSM Health Care Corp.
Feather v. SSM Health Care Corp.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
Case No. 16-1669 (fka Case No. 16-393)
Plaintiffs alleged that SSM Health Care Corp., a Missouri non-profit corporation that operates healthcare facilities in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, was improperly claiming that its defined benefit pension plans: the Retirement Plan for Employees of SSM Health Care; the Retirement Plan for Employees of Certain Illinois Entities Related to SSM Health Care; and the Retirement Plan for Employees of St. Mary’s Hospital Centralia, Illinois (collectively, the “SSM Pension Plans” or the “Plans”) are 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 a number of reasons why the SSM Pension Plans do not qualify as ERISA-exempt church plans, and that Defendants violated ERISA, and that the exemption from ERISA, as applied to the SSM Plan is an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause state law in the operation of the Plans.
On June 6, 2019, Judge Henry Edward Autrey granted final approval of the Settlement. On July 17, 2019, Judge Autrey entered an Amended Final Judgment. For additional information regarding the Settlement, please visit the Settlement website.