The Supreme Court last week decided to take up cases involving three not-forprofit hospital systems being sued for underfunding their employee pension plans.
Lower courts ruled against the organizations—Advocate Health Care Network, Dignity Health and St. Peter’s Healthcare System—saying their pensions do not qualify as “church plans” exempt from the law. That could force them and other hospitals to spend billions to make up funding shortfalls. The systems say federal agencies for years have assured them that they are exempt. The high court in September temporarily blocked the most recent ruling against Dignity from taking effect.