The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court decision that a church plan must be established by a church or by a convention or association of churches in order to be exempt from ERISA as a “church plan.” Under the court’s interpretation of the church plan exemption, it is not enough that the plan is maintained by a church-controlled or church-affiliated organization whose principal purpose or function is to provide benefits to church employees. The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

The opinion in Rollins v. Dignity Health, No. 15-15351 (9th Cir. July 26, 2016) is available here.