AHA files amicus with House and AAMC in Hospitals Pension Plan case

The AHA joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Association of American Medical Colleges on Friday in a friend-of-court brief asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center had breached its fiduciary duties. choosing a pension plan with excessive fees or underperforming investments. This is one of more than 100 similar lawsuits since 2019. In recent months, such lawsuits have been filed against several hospitals and health systems, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Mass General Brigham, Rush University Medical Center, Yale New Haven Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical. Center, Munson Healthcare and Henry Ford Health System.

“In hindsight, these sweeping lawsuits challenge decisions made by pension plan trustees regarding the investment options available to plan members or the arrangements trustees have negotiated with the pension service provider. diet. Complaints usually point to other investment or service options (among the tens of thousands of investment options offered on the investment market and the dozens of service providers with a wide variety of services and prices) and allege that the plan trustees must have had a flawed decision-making process, and therefore breached ERISA’s fiduciary duties, because they did not choose one of these alternatives. »

The amicus brief argues that these arguments ignore the fact that hospitals and health care systems have “large employee populations that span varying income levels and degrees of financial flexibility.

“He adds, ‘If these sorts of conclusive and speculative complaints are upheld, hospital workers will be the ones to suffer.…[T]These lawsuits put pressure on hospital trustees and plan sponsors to limit investments to a narrow range of options at the expense of providing a diversity of choice with a range of fees, fee structures, levels of risk and potential performance improvements, as ERISA expressly encourages, and as is particularly important for employers with a diverse employee population.

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