Click here for a short summary of the issue. Click here for a detailed timeline.
See also the Pension Rights Center website.
Click here for ex-St. Peter's CEO John Matuska's 2011 letter to the IRS.
Click here for ex-St. Peter's VP of HR Bruce Pardo's 2011 letter to the IRS.
Haga clic aqui para verun resumen del problema en español.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Victory in Appellate Court!

Today the three-judge panel of the Third Circuit appeals court filed a unanimous decision in Kaplan v. Saint Peter's Healthcare System in favor of Larry Kaplan and the pension plan members. Very briefly, the court agreed with the appellees—as well as the prior district court ruling—that Saint Peter's is not entitled to the ERISA church plan exemption, since its pension plan was not established by a church as required in the statute. We have not yet had the time to read through the opinion in detail, so we should be back shortly with more analysis (for what that's worth). We understand Saint Peter's now has 30 days to ask for the entire Third Circuit to re-hear the case, though that seems unlikely given the unanimous decision. What seems more likely is for Saint Peter's to request a hearing before the Supreme Court, especially if some of the many cases now pending in district and appellate courts are decided differently. (Saint Peter's is the first such case to be decided at the appellate level.)

Big thanks to Karen Handorf and her legal team for arguing a great case, to Karen Ferguson and all at the Pension Rights Center for their help. and to Larry Kaplan for taking on this burden and seeing it through on behalf of all the pension plan members.