The General Conference adopted a modified Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP) plan on Thursday afternoon. The new plan continues a shared contribution and shared risk approach to clergy retirement that has been a long-standing value of the Church.
The new plan will reduce the amount contributed to the defined benefit portion, which is based on an actuarial formula calculating the cost of providing the future liability. The defined benefit portion is the aspect of the plan that has the highest long-term risk to the salary-paying units and the Annual Conference because it guarantees a certain benefit upon retirement regardless of the financial markets.
The new plan, also, decreases the percentage mandated for churches to pay into the clergy person’s defined contribution account, while giving clergy an to increase their contribution to the defined contribution by matching up to one percent of the total salary.
This plan will reduce pension costs to local churches and annual conferences of around 15%. The effective date of the new plan will be determined after General Conference in consultation with all Annual Conference Pension officers. January 1, 2014, is the most likely start date due to requirements for Annual Conference sessions to approve certain aspects of a few available plan options.