Religious Hospitals Win Pension Clash at U.S. Supreme Court

(Bloomberg) -- Religious hospitals won a multibillion-dollar U.S. Supreme Court clash, as the court said they can invoke an exemption from the federal rules that govern most private pension plans.

Workers had won a series of federal appeals court decisions opening religious hospital systems to claims that their plans are underfunded. The appeals courts said religious organizations must comply with the law that governs employee benefits and protects retirement plans.

The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed, saying in a ruling Monday that plans maintained by religious organizations qualify for an exemption from those rules. Churches themselves were already exempt from those rules.