Tucker v. Baptist Health System, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-00382-SLB (N.D. Alabama)
Plaintiff brought this suit on behalf of all participants of the Baptist Heath System, Inc. Retirement Plan (the “Plan”). Plaintiff alleges that the Plan was underfunded by over $142 million as of the end of 2012 based on standards applicable to retirement plans covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Defendants are not entitled to rely on the ERISA exemption for “church plans” because Baptist Health, which established the Plan and maintains it, is neither a church nor a convocation of churches. The Complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in March of 2015.
On August 26, 2016, the Parties submitted a proposed Settlement to the Court, together with a motion for preliminary approval of the Settlement. The proposed settlement, if approved, would require Baptist Health to make $11 million in additional contributions to the plan over the next ten years, and further requires defendants to amend the plan document so that its future obligations will be based on up-to-date actuarial data and information. These changes to the plan would help ensure that the plan does not incur a funding deficit in the future.
On June 23, 2017, the Court held a hearing on the Settlement, which the Court approved by Order issued on June 26, 2017. A copy of the final approval order is attached.
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