The Clergy Support Team, chaired by Rev. Steve Pinnell, is also known as the Board of Pensions. Its primary responsibility is oversight of clergy benefits, and today they reported on the benefits for the upcoming year.
The Team reported the following:
In regard to the pension plan, team member Tom Ventura reported that the committee proposed an increase in the Pre-82 annuity rate from $588 per service year in 2016 to $606 per service year in 2017. This increase was approved by the Annual Conference.
He also pointed out that in order to receive the matching contribution to the pension, participants must contribute a minimum of 1% to UMPIP, so all participants were strongly urged to do. Currently, only 74% of participants make this 1% contribution.
The Healthflex program currently offers five health insurance plans from which to choose. There will be six plans in 2017.June DuWeese reported that there will be no increase in premiums billed to the local churches.
Rev. Nate Berneking, Conference Treasurer, clarified that the amount billed to the local churches is not increasing, but the premium is. The difference will be paid by the biannual Healthflex Dividend received by the Conference from GBOPHB. He stated that there is likely to be an increase in premium in 2018 that will either require a contribution from the individual or an increase in the amount billed to the local church.
The team recommended that the maximum retiree health stipend for 2017 be increased from $260 to $265. This was approved by the Annual Conference.
The team requested that the parsonage policy be approved as presented with no changes from the prior year. This was approved by the Annual Conference.
Rev. Pinnell thanked the Conference Nominating Committee on a job well done, noting that the individuals selected to serve on the Clergy Support Team were particularly well-equipped to serve in this capacity. This is his final year as chair of the committee, and Tom Ventura will serve for the next quadrennium. He thanked the Conference staff for their help and support during his tenure on the committee.