2018 Annual Report
The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling. – Author Unknown
At Pension Fund, our mission is For the Support of Ministry, ensuring every Stone-Campbell pastor and lay employee will enjoy a Strong, Smart and Secure retirement. These words For the Support of Ministry are not random – they are our calling. A calling first issued by Alexander Campbell himself, who wrote in 1831 in The Harbinger that a regular offering should be received “for the care of the aged is enjoined as the duty and privilege of all disciples.” Campbell called us all to stand for the support of ministry and those who serve.
In the church, we often do not move quickly. It took until 1895, upon the death of Rev. Ira Chase, before the church acted on this calling. In 2020, we will celebrate 125 years since our first gift and the founding of the Board of Ministerial Relief and Assistance.
Over the past 125 years, our programs and name have changed, but our mission – our calling – has not. In 1929, the International Convention approved the formation of Pension Fund based on a plan that was written and presented in 1919. The plan was approved on the condition that $8 million be raised to capitalize the program. Following the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression, only $3 million had been raised, but our calling pushed those early leaders forward.
Today, we continue to ask ourselves what is the growing edge of our ministry – our calling – and how do we continue to stand For the Support of Ministry? We have moved from hand-signed certificates created on a typewriter just ten years ago to cutting-edge technology that allows members to view their accounts online and securely initiate withdrawals and deposits. We have moved from being a relief organization, to a Pension Plan, to a comprehensive retirement provider offering four retirement products and the Benefit Accumulation Account. We are expanding our support and relief programs, seeing them as a bridge to financial wellness, and opportunities for us to support retired and active clergy while partnering with congregations.
Our evolution continues. In 2018 we built and beta tested an employer portal that will allow employers to add, delete and modify employee information. We made our systems more secure. We have grown our assets under management and we are serving a growing number of new employers and members. We also awarded the second largest total dollar payout for combined Good Experience Credits ($50.5 million) and Special Apportionments ($96.8 million), which provided our retirees with a 5.5% raise. “I never received a raise this big while I was working!” –Rev. Michael Mooty.
Every day our staff arrives ready to serve, passionate for our work, and with the knowledge that they too are living out a calling to stand For the Support of Ministry. On the pages that follow you will read some of the ways in which we lived our calling in 2018.
Rev. Dr. Todd A. Adams, President and CEO