SSM Health strikes $60M deal in pension plan case

A federal judge has approved a $60 million settlement between St. Louis-based SSM Health and pension plan participants, according to Pensions & Investments.

In a lawsuit filed in 2016 and amended in 2017, participants in several SSM Health pension plans alleged the health system improperly classified its pension as a "church plan" exempt from the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which requires pension plans to have adequate funding to pay their promised benefits. The participants claimed SSM Health underfunded the plans and failed to provide summary plan descriptions and annual reports or funding notices, according to the report.

The Catholic, nonprofit health system will make $60 million in contributions to the pension plans under the settlement, including a contribution of $15 million per year from 2019 to 2022.

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