On the one hand, the American Church Pension Group has announced plans to make significant increases in USA clergy pensions that they pay out.
ENS Pension benefit formula to get adjustment
TLC Pension Group Enhances Benefits
A detailed announcement will be made soon, but Sullivan said the change means a “meaningful across-the-board increases” in benefits. Clergy with a history of very low compensation will see the biggest increases, averaging 18 percent. Those with the highest earning history will have an average 12 percent increase.
Sullivan said the decision is one of many the pension fund has made in recent months in response to its excellent financial picture. As of the end of 2005, Sullivan said, the fund had an all-time high of $7.6 billion available for pension benefits plus sizable additional reserves.
This bottom line is unlike that of the top 100 pension funds in the United States. Most of those funds have liabilities that far outstrip their assets and the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation says the U.S. faces a $450 billion such gap, Sullivan said.
On the other hand, the Church of England today made this announcement:
Church launches consultation on pensions policy
In common with private companies and public bodies, the Church of England is to review its pensions policy.
Like other defined benefit pension schemes, the Church’s pension schemes are under pressure because of the long-term reduction in returns from stock exchange investments, and the increasing life expectancy of members.
Recent government moves designed to make pension schemes more secure for their members are also likely to have an adverse impact on the cost of the Church’s pension schemes.
…Taken together, the impact of the new regulations could prompt an increase in the contribution rate paid into the Clergy Pensions scheme from the present 33.8 per cent of the pensionable stipend to between 46 per cent and 57 per cent.
It seems ECUSA has got something right 🙂