Trying to Make Sense of the Church Pension Plans?
Take a look at this Clergy Pension Benefits Guide. This handy chart explains the differences between the pension plans. You’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions like “What are the benefits of these plans?”, “How much will they cost?”, and “Which ones am I eligible for?”. If you have more questions, contact JoAnna Ezuka, Pension Program Administrator and Educator.
Attention Clergy in the CRSP pension plan: Don’t Miss Your CRSP Match
Begining next year, if you are a Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP) participant, you must contribute to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) to prevent a reduction in contributions to your CRSP Defined Contribution (DC) account.
Currently, the Church contributes an amount equal to 3% of your plan compensation to your CRSP DC account. However, begining January 1, that contribution will be reduced to 2% unless you contribute to UMPIP.
If you contribute to UMPIP, the Church will match 100% of your contributions – up to 1% of your plan compensation – and deposit those matching funds into your CRSP DC account. Therefore, if you contribute at least 1% of your plan compensation to UMPIP, the Church’s contribution to your CRSP DC account will be 3%, unchanged from today.
Some clergy are not yet contributing to UMPIP. Even if you already contribute 1% to UMPIP, consider increasing your contributions to make up for the future reduction in the CRSP DB benefit formula.
Details about this change, as well as other changes to CRSP, the Ministerial Pension Plan (MPP), and the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP), were announced in the publications listed below.
- This summary lists all the pension plan changes made at General Conference as well as the effective dates for each.
- The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) has also published this brochure describing the plans’ amendments.
- The July 2012 issue of the GBOPHB Hark! newsletter announced plan changes approved by General Conference 2012.
- The October 2012 issue of the GBOPHB Hark! newsletter offers ways to both minimize the impact of these changes and maximize your benefits.
- The January 2013 issue of the GBOPHB Hark! newsletter describes the changes now in effect to the Clergy Long-Term Disability and Death benefit plan (i.e., the Comprehensive Protection Plan or CPP)
To start or modify your UMPIP contributions, complete a Before-tax and After-tax Contributions Agreement by January 1, 2014. Give your form to your treasurer so they can complete Part 5 and will know when and how much to begin your paycheck withholding. Keep a copy for your records and submit the original to the GBOPHB. And don’t forget to make sure your Contribution to PIP form on the NC Conference Online Data Collection System is updated at charge conference time with your January 1, 2014 contribution amount! The data on this system is electronically submitted from the Conference to the GBOPHB once at the end of each year.
Watch and read the information provided at Annual Conference this year for more details as they develop. Questions can be directed to the NC Conference Benefits Team in the Treasurer’s Office (1-800-849-4433) or to the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (1-800-851-2201).
(Article excerpted from the April 2013 GBOPHB Hark! newsletter.)
Accessing Retirement Funds
Considering withdrawing your retirement money to meet a current financial need? The United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) is designed to provide retirement income. During difficult economic times, however, participants may feel forced to access these funds to relieve immediate financial obligations. This article describes and compares two methods of withdrawing money from your UMPIP account prior to retirement.
Online Access to Your Pension Benefits
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits’ online system, Benefits Access, offers:
- enhanced security
- new and improved retirement benefits projection tools
- educational resources
- electronic delivery for statements and Hark newsletters
- the ability to view beneficiary designations
- easy ways to update contact information
If you’ve never used the system, visit the General Board’s website to learn how to register.
Ernst & Young Financial Planning Services
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits has arranged to provide eligible participants with financial planning assistance from Ernst & Young, a leading global professional services firm. Ernst & Young offers objective, free, unlimited advice from a qualified financial professional. Your financial planner can provide the personalized guidance you need to develop an action plan. For more details on their services, visit the General Board’s website. Clergy and lay employees are encouraged to take advantage of this valuable resource!
Ministers’ Transition Fund (MTF)
Visit the MTF webpage to learn more about the great benefits of this qualified retirement savings plan!
Local Church Pension Bills
Please review your church’s bill carefully and contact JoAnna C. Ezuka , ext. 225 or Kelly Young, ext. 316 IMMEDIATELY if you have any questions concerning the amount, billing address, or pastor information.
Option for Multi-station Charges - Churches on multi-station charges now have the option to split their monthly NC Conference pension bill among each church on the charge. The monthly charges will be split according to the compensation package (ex: salary, travel allowance, utilities allowance, housing) each church provides for the pastor. This will provide easier remittance of payments and more convenient internal accounting for the local church. Churches interested in having their monthly billings split should contact JoAnna C. Ezuka , ext. 225 in the Treasurer’s Office.
Payment by Automatic Draft - Church Treasurers, are you looking for an easier way to make your monthly pension payment? Consider having the payments deducted automatically from the church’s checking account. To enroll in this easy payment method, complete the Pension EFT Enrollment Form (PDF format) and return it to the address at the bottom of the form
Payment by Mail - Please send pension payments by mail to:
NC Conference/Pension Payments
PO Box 60342
Charlotte, NC 28260-0342
Visit the Downloads page for documents such as the Pension Worksheet, Housing Exclusion, enrollment forms, etc.
For More Information
For additional information please contact JoAnna C. Ezuka, ext. 225.