David Peele, chair of the Conference Council on Finance Administration, expressed appreciation for the 91.49% of the apportionments that were paid in 2017. He noted that the NC Conference was one of 29 that fully paid apportionments to the General Conference through the use of reserve funds.
Annual Conference members approved the request for $21,081,957 for the 2020 annual conference budget, a 1.95% decrease from the approved 2019 budget.
District Superintendent Salary
The salary for district superintendents in 2019 was approved at $111,036, an increase of 0.9% over the current salary.
The minimum salary for full-time pastors for 2019 was approved to increase minimum salary by 1.8% to a salary of $45,490 for full-time pastors and $29,569 for student pastors.
The conference has a self-insured health plan administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The insurance plan approved for 2019, a 5% increase over 2017, is $1,216.46 a month for the church’s portion. Participant portions rose at the same percentage rate as the church rate. Benefit changes were approved to include pre-certification for diagnostic imaging and the addition of cost shopping incentive programs to help participants better manage costs related to services. A recommendation to move to a mandatory mail order program for maintenance drugs was amended to be encouraged instead of required. Life insurance, dental insurance, and wellness programs were unchanged.
The Pensions report was presented by Dennis Goodwin, chair of the board. Under the Pre-82 Plan for retirement, clergy will receive $754 per service year in 2019, an increase of 2.59% over the 2018 rate. Retiree Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), based on the number of years of credit received toward retirement health insurance benefits, were approved to increase by 3% in 2019. In 2019, the maximum HRA for a pastor with 40 years or more in the plan will be funded at $3,344 (90% of the maximum tier of $3,715).
Goodwin noted the funding status of the pre-82 pension plan liability as currently funded in full and the retiree health insurance liability as on track to be funded by 2021 through the Conference Claimants budget and the Past Service Liability apportionment. Funding is tied to market performance and actuarial assumptions so the funding status will be closely monitored in the future to continue working toward full funding of both plans by 2021.
Trustees and Clergy Medical Leave
The reports of the Conference Board of Trustees and Joint Committee on Clergy Medical Leave were approved as presented in the conference workbook with informational updates and no change to policies.