Board of Pensions report highlights costs and coverage

June 11, 2013

In its annual report to the Iowa Annual Conference the Board of Pensions reported on medical insurance, disability coverage, pensions, and how one gift will make a difference. Rev. Dr. Beverlee Bell made the presentation on behalf of the Board.

There are 467 enrolled contracts in the medical insurance plan.  Eighty-two percent of those covered are over age 45, with fifty-eight percent male and forty-two percent female insureds.  Wellmark coverage has provided a savings of covered costs amounting to $3,763,003, or 46.77 percent. 

Rev. Bell indicated that Wellmark rates are anticipated to increase by 4% to 5%.  Rates will be set in September.

In terms of disability insurance she noted, “We cover our disability insurance with the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits.  Though for the past ten years Iowa is one of the Conferences that has had the most on disability compared to active clergy, the number needing to be covered is declining.”

Meetings are set for September “to share with pastors the pension changes that will begin in 2014.  With changes in the general retirement plan, active pastors will need to invest in the UMPIP individual retirement plan or other IRAs to maintain the current level of retirement benefit.”  The charge to churches for pension and disability life insurance and 2014 will be 15 percent.

A farm, located in Story County, was given to the Conference in 1996 for “the benefit of tired and worn-out clergy.”  That farm was sold earlier this year for some $6 million.  “With the $6 million from the sale of the farm,” Rev. Bell said, “we are almost at meeting our retirement health liability.”  “We should be able to cover the Medicare supplement for those already retired and those who will retire in the future,” she added, “and the Board of Pensions should be able to reduce the size of the apportionment asking by 50 percent.”