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Providence Health agrees to settle pension plan lawsuit

SEATTLE – A Renton-based health care system has agreed to pay $351.9 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over its employee pension plan.

The Seattle Times reported two nurses with Providence Health & Services filed a lawsuit against their employer in 2014 arguing that the health care group failed to fully fund their workers’ retirement plan. Providence had claimed a church exemption that allowed them to not fully fund the pensions.

While the Providence case was ongoing, both a lower-court and an appeals court ruled on a separate case that a Catholic hospital chair may not claim church exemption.

With that legal precedent Providence agreed to put $350 million into its employee retirement plan over the next seven years and to pay about $500 each to 3,800 former employees.


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