Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1309 (es) To amend title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide for the preemption of State law in certain cases relating to certain church plans. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

S. 1309 (es) To amend title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide for the preemption of State law in certain cases relating to certain church plans. [Engrossed in Senate] ...


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        S. 1309

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
To amend title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 
to provide for the preemption of State law in certain cases relating to 
                          certain church plans.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is only to clarify the application to a 
church plan that is a welfare plan of State insurance laws that require 
or solely relate to licensing, solvency, insolvency, or the status of 
such plan as a single employer plan.
SEC. 2 CLARIFICATION OF CHURCH WELFARE PLAN STATUS UNDER STATE 
INSURANCE LAW.
    (a) In General.--For purposes of determining the status of a church 
plan that is a welfare plan under provisions of a State insurance law 
described in subsection (b), such a church plan (and any trust under 
such plan) shall be deemed to be a plan sponsored by a single employer 
that reimburses costs from general church assets, or purchases 
insurance coverage with general church assets, or both.
    (b) State Insurance Law.--A State insurance law described in this 
subsection is a law that--
        (1) requires a church plan, or an organization described in 
    section 414(e)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and 
    section 3(33)(C)(i) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act 
    of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002(33)(C)(i)) to the extent that it is 
    administering or funding such a plan, to be licensed; or
        (2) relates solely to the solvency or insolvency of a church 
    plan (including participation in State guaranty funds and 
    associations).
    (c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
        (1) Church plan.--The term ``church plan'' has the meaning 
    given such term by section 414(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
    1986 and section 3(33) of the Employee Retirement Income Security 
    Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002(33)).
        (2) Reimburses costs from general church assets.--The term 
    ``reimburses costs from general church assets'' means engaging in 
    an activity that is not the spreading of risk solely for the 
    purposes of the provisions of State insurance laws described in 
    subsection (b).
        (3) Welfare plan.--The term ``welfare plan''--
            (A) means any church plan to the extent that such plan 
        provides medical, surgical, or hospital care or benefits, or 
        benefits in the event of sickness, accident, disability, death 
        or unemployment, or vacation benefits, apprenticeship or other 
        training programs, or day care centers, scholarship funds, or 
        prepaid legal services; and
            (B) does not include any entity, such as a health insurance 
        issuer described in section 9832(b)(2) of the Internal Revenue 
        Code of 1986 or a health maintenance organization described in 
        section 9832(b)(3) of such Code, or any other organization that 
        does business with the church plan or organization sponsoring 
        or maintaining such a plan.
    (d) Enforcement Authority.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
this section, for purposes of enforcing provisions of State insurance 
laws that apply to a church plan that is a welfare plan, the church 
plan shall be subject to State enforcement as if the church plan were 
an insurer licensed by the State.
    (e) Application of Section.--Except as provided in subsection (d), 
the application of this section is limited to determining the status of 
a church plan that is a welfare plan under the provisions of State 
insurance laws described in subsection (b). This section shall not 
otherwise be construed to recharacterize the status, or modify or 
affect the rights, of any plan participant or beneficiary, including 
participants or beneficiaries who make plan contributions.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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