Pension Fund Board Meets; Receives Market Updates and the Annual Audit
Indianapolis - Pension Fund’s Board of Directors met virtually April 12-15, 2023. The multi-day meeting began with the Investment Committee receiving the annual valuation from the external actuaries. Despite beating our benchmarks for 2022, negative market returns, combined with fully funding back-to-back historic Special Apportionments, placed the plan at 109% funded. As a result, the board did not award any Special Apportionment Credits based on the Dec. 31, 2022 funding status and the current market volatility.
Rev. Dr. Todd A. Adams, President and CEO, updated the board on the 2022-24 Strategic Plan. Pension Fund, in partnership with P3 Development Group, conducted its annual member survey and its first non-member market research survey in Spanish and Korean, in addition to English. “As we continue forward with our DEBA initiative, we are preparing to serve a church that is more diverse, where retirement has different expectations based on culture, and where a singular approach does not work for all communities,” shared Adams. Currently, P3 Development is hosting focus groups as a follow up to the survey data. These focus groups will help to further define the intentionality with which Pension Fund serves racial/ethnic communities. As part of this initiative, Pension Fund hired Ingrid Hernandez to work on our Member Relations team, providing support for Spanish-preferred members, and promoted Rev. Gabriel Lopez-Patina to Director of Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility. Spanish-preferred members may now press 1 to be routed to a Spanish-speaking agent.
In other work, the board met with Grant Thornton, external auditors, to receive the 2022 audited financials with an unmodified or “clean” opinion. The board received updates on our investment performance, technology and cyber security efforts, and the work of Ministerial Relief and Assistance. Additionally, the board discussed the recent challenges with the global banking system and any exposure to Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) or Signature Bank. SVB was less than one-half of 1% of the S&P 500. The only place where Pension Fund assets would have had limited indirect exposure, had the government not stepped in to guarantee all deposits, was through several of our partnerships who had banking relationships with those banks. Pension Fund’s treasury bank, Fifth Third, remains well capitalized, and BNY Mellon and Royal Bank of Canada remain as the custodial banks.
We invite members to join Rev. Dr. Todd Adams on Tuesday, May 2 as he leads the 2023 Member Conference Calls at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. EDT. The toll-free number for both calls is 888.886.7786. The 11 a.m. Conference ID is 75027685 and the 7 p.m. Conference ID is 14403875.
The next meeting of the board is November 17-19, 2023 in Indianapolis, IN.