Pension Fund Board Meets, Receives Strategic Plan and Quadrennial Experience Study Updates
Indianapolis - Pension Fund’s Board of Directors met Nov. 17 – 19, 2023. The meeting focused on the Pension Plan quadrennial experience study and updates on the organization’s 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. Current funding levels and market returns did not support awarding Good Experience Credits on interest-bearing accounts for 2023. The board also approved the 2024 operating budgets and policy/plan revisions related to Secure 2.0. Joining the Pension Fund Board of Directors are two new members. The board approved and welcomed Rev. Sandy Messick and Ruth Weaver-Hazen. Sandy serves as the Florida Regional Minister and Ruth recently retired as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Christian Church Foundation.
The quadrennial experience study and review of plan assumptions was conducted by Willis Towers Watson (WTW). The WTW team analyzed trends in the life expectancy, termination, and retirement rates of Pension Plan members over the last four years. The findings and assumptions are part of the calculation of the liability and funded status of the plan. Currently, Pension Plan members live longer than the average American when compared to standard mortality tables. In part, this is attributed to lifestyle and lower stress in retirement, as plan members do not have to manage their own investments, deal with market volatility, and are not responsible for generating their own income. When speaking to the value of pensions, Peter Dunn, CEO of Your Money Line, stated,
“Americans spend their entire lives coping with the stresses and perils of uncertainty. The interplay of money and time, as the two primary economic resources, can also stoke feelings of uncertainty. What a pension does more than anything else, is it removes a significant amount of uncertainty from our financial lives. It accounts for both money and time. There’s no financial peace of mind quite like a pension.”
In the board update on the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, Rev. Dr. Todd A. Adams shared, “After two years of carefully listening to our historically underserved communities, we recognize that we must change our approach to the retirement conversation if we are going to live into our vision that ALL pastors and church workers will have a strong, smart, and secure retirement.” In 2024, Pension Fund will launch new marketing efforts for historically underserved, racial/ethnic constituencies in a culturally contextual manner that reflects the many ways pastors serve and acknowledges that retirement means different things in different cultures.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for April 24 – 27, 2024, where board members will meet virtually to consider Special Apportionment Credits based on Dec. 31, 2023 pension assets and liabilities.