Wednesday, 1 March 2006

church pensions in the news

On the one hand, the American Church Pension Group has announced plans to make significant increases in USA clergy pensions that they pay out.
See:
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 :-)

Full text of the CofE report is here (RTF). Annex is here (contains key facts).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 1 March 2006 at 6:31pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

Well, in all honesty I think we in ECUSA ought to send some money, and without any expectation that we will agree on all things.

Posted by: Marshall on Wednesday, 1 March 2006 at 8:40pm GMT

The Church of England Pension Fund was fully funded until the government starting taking money out of pension funds, imposing more and more regulation and charges on them, and making completely unrealistic demands, as the statement today shows. All part of the Gordon Brown plan for redistributing other people's money - even pensioners' money - to pay for a million extra public employees (who get to retire at 60).

The stipends of our clergy have been held down for at least a decade in order to ensure that they at least get a modest pension when they retire. Now even that is in jeopardy.

Posted by: Alan Marsh on Wednesday, 1 March 2006 at 9:47pm GMT
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