The Conference Board of Pensions, at a recently held fall meeting, voted unanimously to reallocate 2018 Defined Benefit pension payments to cover a spike in health care claims. “We are very fortunate to have reserves in place to cover the increased expenses for the current year, and we need to replenish those reserves”, said Jamie O’Brien, chairperson of the Board. ”Because of our current investment program, we are able to cover these claims without any increase in cost to either our churches or participants. As we move forward, however, we will be examining the plan design as well as premiums and apportionment increases at our spring meeting in March of 2018 in preparing for Annual Conference and 2019 recommendations”.
In other business, the Board approved by unanimous vote, a change in the Emergency Fund Policy. This resulted from a referral on a motion from Annual Conference related to current year and lifetime limits. The new policy, effective January 1, 2018, will increase annual limits from $1,000 to $2,500 and lifetime limits from $3,000 to $7,500. Clergy who have previously reached their lifetime limit will be able to access the additional $4,500 after January 1st. The Board also amended the policy to clarify that requests for and payments of this grant must be for medically related expenses. The new policy is available on the conference website under the Finance and Administration tab.
The spring meeting of the Board is scheduled for March 6, 2018.