When Mark Twain learned that a newspaper had mistakenly printed his obituary, he reportedly responded by saying “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” We could say the same about the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule (the Rule), although it may be on life support.
On June 5, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) issued a unanimous decision in the case of Advocate Health Care Network et al. v. Stapelton et al. that expands the ERISA exemption for church plans to include plans established by church-affiliated organizations. The decision is a departure from prior “plain text” judicial readings of the exemption, but it aligns with the interpretations of other federal agencies.