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.

Your Pension At Risk - Updated June 2013

Saint Peter's University Hospital has applied to have the Internal Revenue Service recognize the Saint Peter's Healthcare System Retirement Plan as a "non-electing church plan." This would strip away from the Plan the basic protections provided under Federal law to virtually all other private-sector pension plans. Church plans:
  • Do not have to give employees information about their benefits or about plan investments.
  • Are not required to pay benefits fairly.
  • Are not required to adequately fund the pension plan.
  • Are not covered by the federal pension insurance program that guarantees most private pension benefits.
The church plan exemption, once granted, lasts forever. In numerous cases, notably that of the Hospital Center of Orange (HCO) in 2006 and St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic in 2013, employers have used the church plan exemption to escape their pension obligations and make the money available for other uses.

If you are a plan member, please review the information on this website, take action to convince the IRS to deny the church plan ruling, and get others involved. It is especially important that retirees come forward, as current employees are terrified of retaliation from Saint Peter's management, and there is no database of retirees outside of the hospital. The hospital's recent change in their application has opened up a window for comments to the IRS. The new IRS comment period closes June 28, 2013. Your letter is important! Please submit a letter even if you already did so during the previous comment period in late 2011-early 2012.

For an introduction to the issues, see this detailed timeline of the issue. See also this blog post and this series of fact sheets from the Pension Rights Center. Please stay tuned for upcoming posts, which will relate the latest news and offer tips on protecting your pension plan.