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  #721  
Old 06-25-2018, 12:59 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SERVICES
RHODE ISLAND

http://ripr.org/post/roman-catholic-...wsuit#stream/0
http://www.golocalprov.com/news/dioc...-fraud-lawsuit

Quote:
Diocese of Providence Issues Statement in Response to Fraud Lawsuit
Spoiler:
Finally, days after the receiver for the failed St. Joseph Pension fund filed massive lawsuits in both State and Federal Court, the Diocese of Providence issued a statement late on Friday.
The lawsuit filed alleges that the Diocese was a key player in a fraud that now leaves the pension fund with a gap of an estimated $118 million.

The Diocese of Providence Statement Reads:

As you know, the ongoing dispute about the status of the pension funds of St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island (the former operator of St. Joseph Hospital and Fatima Hospital) has emerged in the news once again with the filing of a class action lawsuit. The suit names corporations related to the Diocese of Providence along with approximately 12 other defendants. Although some litigation about this matter was expected, we are surprised and disappointed that the Diocese is included.

As we have explained before, the Catholic Church ended its administrative role with the hospitals several years before the pension problem developed. In fact, the two legal complaints (each over 100 pages in length) acknowledge and repeat much of what we have said previously. One paragraph references “the diminished or nonexistent roles of Bishop Tobin and the Diocese in SJHSRI’s governance after the 2009 merger” with CharterCare. The next paragraph notes that “Upon the conclusion of the 2014 Asset Sale, the Diocese had no meaningful role in the governance of SJHSRI. To the contrary, the only rights it had concerned the “Catholicity” of SJHSRI’s operation of the hospital and provision of health care.”

The pension fund was in effect “orphaned” when Prospect Medical Holdings, a multi-billion dollar, for-profit corporation, purchased CharterCare which had been previously formed by the combination of St. Joseph Health Services and Roger Williams Medical Center. Prospect assumed responsibility for all aspects of the hospital management – except for the pension fund.

Please keep in mind that these corporate transactions took several years and involved detailed negotiations of boards of directors, hospital administrators, attorneys, actuaries, consultants, and canonists. They were fully vetted and approved by state officials, including the Attorney General and the Department of Health, and were supported and recommended for approval by the nurses’ union.

The litigation is part of the ongoing process which began almost a year ago. The lawsuit is long and very complex and will involve multiple attorneys and corporate entities. It probably will take considerable time to be resolved. The Diocese will be fully engaged in this process and will vigorously respond to the inaccurate claims contained in the lawsuit.

In the meantime, while this unfortunate litigation follows its own discrete path, the work of the Church will continue unabated. We will continue our mission of gathering the faithful for worship, preaching the Gospel, educating children, serving the poor, and advocating for a better and just society. As always, your prayerful and personal support will be important and greatly appreciated. The words of Jesus spoken to his disciples at the Last Supper are as relevant now as ever: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, but have faith in God and faith in me.” (Jn 14:1)
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  #722  
Old 07-15-2018, 06:58 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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AVERY DENNISON

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/an...you-2018-07-11

Quote:
Another company just cut its pension plan — what to do if it happens to you
Avery Dennison’s employees will have access to a 401(k) plan


Spoiler:
Avery Dennison AVY, +1.39% is the latest example of a persistent trend: the death of the pension plan.

The labeling and packaging company said on Wednesday it was terminating its pension plan, effective Sept. 28, eight years after first freezing the program. It also said there would be no change in benefits for the 11,200 current participants, although the plan is currently underfunded by about $240 million.


How the ad industry is working to move away from the 'Mad Men' era

See: Government money should help solve this pension crisis

What does that mean for plan participants right now? The elimination of the plan means current participants will have to choose between receiving their benefit now as a lump-sum payment or as a continuing monthly payment, said Edward Snyder, a financial adviser at Oaktree Financial Advisors in Carmel, Ind. “It’s a good time to revisit your financial plan to see how the different pension options will impact your plans and retirement income.”

Of course, that isn’t exactly easy. There are a few stipulations to consider before making a decision, said A.J. Walker, a financial adviser at financial advisory firm Lake Jericho in Chicago. Participants will have to determine if receiving a lump sum today would be equal to the annuitized payments, or if they may be undersold by doing so. In some similar scenarios, clients have risked losing out on a substantial amount of benefits because they opted for a lump sum, sacrificing the benefits they were meant to receive.

Don’t miss: This retired sanitation worker makes $285K a year from pension

If the math works out, and a lump sum and annuitized payments are equal, participants must then consider who would be managing those assets. While Avery Dennison manages the pension plan, it is federally insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, but that changes when those assets are transferred to the private insurance companies to manage. “I would weigh heavily who the provider of the annuity is,” he said. “You want a good, solid reputable company to have that.” If not, a lump sum may be the best option as it can be reinvested into diversified stocks and bonds. The risk of staying with a potentially insecure company is that those assets are exposed to less reliable investments. This would be an expensive mistake for anyone, but especially for those employees with three or four decades until retirement.

Companies are eliminating pensions, known as defined-benefit plans, opting instead for defined contributions plans, such as the 401(k), where participation is voluntary and employees are responsible for their own retirement savings. Only 16% of Fortune 500 companies offered a defined-benefit plan to new hires in 2017, down from 59% among the same employers in 1998, according to London-based insurance company Willis Towers Watson. About half of these companies still employ workers who are actively accruing pension benefits, and 93% of these companies with a defined-benefit plan in 1998 still manage their plans and assets.

Also, like Avery Dennison, some of these plans have been frozen. Freezing benefit plans varies based on the terms of the plans, but basically come down to the benefits no long accruing. Participants will already get the benefits that have grown, but may not earn more moving forward. “Participants generally need to be on the watch that more of this is coming,” Walker said.

Also see: Here’s a way to get a pension-like benefit in retirement

Avery Dennison is transferring its payment obligations and the administration of the plans to one or more insurance companies that manage pension annuities next year, and as part of that transfer the plan will be fully funded, said Rob Six, vice president of communications for the company. Avery Dennison still offers retirement benefits to employees through a 401(k) plan. Beginning this year, the company increased its matching contribution rate for eligible participants to 50% of the first 7% of eligible pay. It also offers an automatic contribution of 3% of eligible pay.


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  #723  
Old 07-15-2018, 08:41 PM
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CHURCH OF ENGLAND
DIVESTMENT

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/church-e...-fossil-fuels/

Quote:
Church of England Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels | Chief Investment Officer

Spoiler:
Oil, gas companies have until 2023 to comply with Paris Agreement goals before the church will pull all holdings.
The Church of England has voted to dump £12 billion ($15 billion) in holdings of fossil fuel companies if they are not tackling global warming quickly enough.
The church voted 347-4 with three abstentions in favor of the changes in the General Synod, the church’s legislative body, reports Citywire. Oil and gas companies that have not aligned their businesses with the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2023 will see divestment from the £8.33 billion Church Commissioners investment fund, the Church’s £2.3 billion retirement fund, and an additional £2 billion in other Church of England funds.
The vote is based on the suggestion of Canon Giles Goddard of the church’s environmental group that the church track companies’ progress on carbon reduction by 2023. Goddard said companies not focused on the Paris Agreement’s target to reduce global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius by that time should see divestment from the church.
In his initial proposal, Goddard pushed compliance deadlines to 2020, but the church decided 2023 would better encourage progress without “prematurely divesting” from businesses.
At the Synod discussion, David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, said that full divestment from fossil fuel companies in 2020 would “leave our strategy and influence in tatters.” Walker also said that divestment would also relieve fossil fuel companies from compliance rather than reinforce it. He agreed with the 2023 deadline, saying that it creates enough time for engagement.
As of December, the church itself had £123 million in oil and gas investments. In 2015 and 2017, its funds cut coal miners and companies taking oil from tar sands and filed a motion with oil giant ExxonMobil on improving its climate risk disclosures.

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  #724  
Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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RHODE ISLAND
CHURCH PLANS

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/ri-treas...-transparency/

Quote:
RI Treasurer Calls for Church Pension Transparency
Seth Magaziner says religious funds should have to abide by ERISA rules.


Spoiler:
In response to the collapse of the St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island pension fund, state Treasurer Seth Magaziner is calling for new transparency requirements for pension plans managed by religious organizations.

Magaziner said he will seek legislation in the 2019 state general assembly session that would require pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to their plan participants.

Magaziner made the announcement flanked by retired members of the St. Joseph pension plan, which went into state receivership last year, leaving current and retired workers to face a loss of benefits. Approximately 2,700 current and former workers of St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Fatima hospitals belonged to the plan.

“What the employees and retirees of these hospitals are going through is unacceptable,” said Magaziner. “All workers and retirees deserve to know the truth about their health of their retirement savings.”

The federal Employer Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires most private pension plans to send members a letter each year outlining the health of their plan. However, church pension plans are exempt from ERISA, which has drawn criticism over a lack of transparency.

“Church plans should be transparent with their members just like other pension plans,” said Magaziner.

Last month, class-action lawsuits were filed against the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence and hospital operator Prospect CharterCare, accusing them of conspiring to mislead state regulators and commit fraud. The suits said that over the last 10 years Bishop Thomas Tobin and the operators of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital vastly underfunded the hospital’s pension plan, and then conspired to conceal that fact to regulators and participants.

“Many people knew that this pension fund was unsustainable without continued financial support,” said Chris Callaci, legal counsel for United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP), “and they said nothing to the 2,700 members of the plan.”

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, which founded the plan, disputed the charges.

“The Diocese of Providence strongly disagrees with the allegations asserted against it in this very long and complex lawsuit,” it said, according to the Providence Journal. “The Diocese will respond appropriately to these claims and we are confident that our position will prevail.”
https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/art...n-13084896.php
Quote:
Treasurer calls for more religious pension plan transparency

Spoiler:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's treasurer says the state badly needs new legislation that would require transparency in pension plans managed by religious organizations.

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner made the announcement Tuesday standing with a group of pensioners facing benefit cuts from the now-in-receivership St. Joseph Hospital pension plan.

The Providence Journal reports that thousands of Rhode Island residents are in benefits plans managed by religious organizations.

These plans are exempt from federal laws that require annual financial information disclosures.

In response to Magaziner, the Rhode Island Catholic Conference released a statement agreeing with the importance of disclosing pension plan information to participants.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has already signed a law related to the pension collapse at St. Joseph and Our Lady of Fatima hospitals.

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