Author Topic: Perils of Church-Related Pensions  (Read 9725 times)

jeric

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #105 on: November 16, 2010, 05:08:15 PM »
This may also be of note here. 

ELCA Board of Pensions Trustees Announce Annuity Adjustment for 2011

http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4672

This quote is interesting for a number of discussions on this board.

Quote
+ Trustees approved amendments to the ELCA retirement, medical and dental, survivor benefits and disability benefits plans to allow congregations or qualified church-controlled organizations with "common religious bonds with the ELCA" -- such as the new North American Lutheran Church -- to sponsor members in the benefit plans. The amendments were sent for approval to the ELCA Church Council. David D. Swartling, ELCA secretary, told the trustees that the topic had been discussed by leaders of the churchwide organization and the Board of Pensions. He said it had been determined to open the plans to qualified non-ELCA congregations or churches. The benefit plans that are offered will be exactly the same as plans offered to ELCA plan members.

Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN


Question for the "financial types" among us:  Does this sound like an attempt to shore up the ELCA Pension/Med program with enough money to keep the program afloat?

John Ericksen

Dan Fienen

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #106 on: November 16, 2010, 05:12:01 PM »
Or, perhaps, it is an attempt to do right by those who for reason of conscience end up leaving the ELCA for new arrangements that have not yet had time to organize pension and health insurance, etc.  It is perhaps a way - to maintain numbers that are important for the benefit plans, yes - but also to fair and helpful to dedicated workers who have been members of the ELCA.  That could indeed be a win-win for all concerned.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #107 on: November 16, 2010, 05:28:49 PM »
John Ericksen writes:
Question for the "financial types" among us:  Does this sound like an attempt to shore up the ELCA Pension/Med program with enough money to keep the program afloat?

I comment:
For heaven's sake! The ELCA offers medical coverage to those leaving it who might not otherwise have easy access to such coverage and, instead of considering it a way to reach out to "dissidents," it is jumped on as a money-making scheme. So much for putting "the best construction" on what our fellow Lutherans do. Shame.

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #108 on: November 16, 2010, 05:48:44 PM »

For heaven's sake! The ELCA offers medical coverage to those leaving it who might not otherwise have easy access to such coverage and, instead of considering it a way to reach out to "dissidents," it is jumped on as a money-making scheme. So much for putting "the best construction" on what our fellow Lutherans do. Shame.

On one hand a Bishop is calling particular folks "schismatic."  On the other, the Board of Pensions is offering these very same people the medical coverage and a defined contribution pension.  

Generally, a larger pool is desired for medical plans.  For investing pension contributions, given the market of the last couple of decades, not so much.

I find it confusing, but continue to appreciate the attitude of the Board of Pensions, ELCA, as expressing more gracefulness than Churchwide and Synodical ELCA.

spt+
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 07:39:56 PM by Pastor Zip »
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

jeric

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #109 on: November 16, 2010, 05:51:46 PM »
John Ericksen writes:
Question for the "financial types" among us:  Does this sound like an attempt to shore up the ELCA Pension/Med program with enough money to keep the program afloat?

I comment:
For heaven's sake! The ELCA offers medical coverage to those leaving it who might not otherwise have easy access to such coverage and, instead of considering it a way to reach out to "dissidents," it is jumped on as a money-making scheme. So much for putting "the best construction" on what our fellow Lutherans do. Shame.


Charles:

That was a simple question from a simple person.  Sorry you jumped to the conclusion that it was an attempt to dis the ELCA.  The ELCA pension program, I believe, is supposed to funded in a way that protects the assets regardless of the yearly contributions.  Still, the drop in ELCA membership numbers raised the question in my mind about the general stability of the ELCA pension program.  I am certainly not a "financial type" so I asked the question.  That's the long and short of it.

John Ericksen

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #110 on: November 16, 2010, 08:59:29 PM »
John Ericksen writes:
Question for the "financial types" among us:  Does this sound like an attempt to shore up the ELCA Pension/Med program with enough money to keep the program afloat?

I comment:
For heaven's sake! The ELCA offers medical coverage to those leaving it who might not otherwise have easy access to such coverage and, instead of considering it a way to reach out to "dissidents," it is jumped on as a money-making scheme. So much for putting "the best construction" on what our fellow Lutherans do. Shame.

C'mon, Charles...  John's question is perfectly valid in these days of financial shaking and quaking...

My first reaction was that this was the precursor to the ecclesiastical "one-world-government," because in theory there is no reason why this needs to stay limited to ELCA ex-pats or "Lutheran" bodies.  Knowing how things work, how difficult would it be to extend our health/pension plans to some struggling body like the UCC, and once we have enveloped them in the health/pension plan it would be relatively easy to absorb them in other ways.  I mean the darn health/pension plan has proven stronger than debates on ecclesiology, orthodoxy, and all sorts of other things...

But that really would not be interpreting things in the "best possible light."

Kinda makes John's question look tame, don't it?  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 

Charles_Austin

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #111 on: November 16, 2010, 09:52:14 PM »
Yes, Pastor Kliner, there are those who wallow in conspiracy theories, assume that if it comes from "the ELCA," there is something wrong with it, knows before they read the posting that Pastor Stoffregen has bazooka-ed another key doctrine of the faith, are sure that the ELCA is out to destroy their personal ministry and sanity, believe ecumenism is aiming at the dreaded "one world government", think that our presiding bishop is a reincarnation of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky, and believe the pages of the ELW are coated with a mind control drug.  We get that.
Happy shakin' and quakin' all.  ::)

GoCubsGo

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #112 on: November 16, 2010, 10:20:44 PM »
Yes, Pastor Kliner, there are those who wallow in conspiracy theories, assume that if it comes from "the ELCA," there is something wrong with it, knows before they read the posting that Pastor Stoffregen has bazooka-ed another key doctrine of the faith, are sure that the ELCA is out to destroy their personal ministry and sanity, believe ecumenism is aiming at the dreaded "one world government", think that our presiding bishop is a reincarnation of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky, and believe the pages of the ELW are coated with a mind control drug.  We get that.
Happy shakin' and quakin' all.  ::)

Chalres,

More and more you sound like a lunatic!

That being said.  As one who has left the ELCA but has remained in the ELCA's pension plan (for the time being and for reasons I shant get into here) I can say that the main reason that they have allowed dissidents to remain in the plan--group rates would be affected by large losses of participants.  I see the reasons for extending coverage as financially savvy and sound and not so much grounded in a "new world order."  Though I will agree with you Charles that some seem to likely to see everything that the ELCA does as a part of a conspiracy.  But to put the best possible construction on this the ELCA has earned that distrust by routinely ignoring actions or willfully refusing to discipline actions that were at odds with the policy of "this church."  The ELCA bred distrust over the years and seeing consipiracies is a result of that.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #113 on: November 17, 2010, 03:37:15 AM »
Pastor Copeck writes:
Though I will agree with you Charles that some seem to likely to see everything that the ELCA does as a part of a conspiracy.
I respond:
Good. 'Cause it's true.

Pastor Copeck:
But to put the best possible construction on this the ELCA has earned that distrust by routinely ignoring actions or willfully refusing to discipline actions that were at odds with the policy of "this church."
Me:
There is no putting "the best construction" on someone seeing everything the ELCA does as a conspiracy. And in matters of discipline, a person's complaint should be with their synodical bishop, not with "the ELCA," which does not have a direct hand in discipline. And I suppose one must note again, without hope of being understood, that "discipline" may have been applied in many cases without that discipline resulting in a person or congregation being kicked out of the ELCA.

Pilgrim

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #114 on: November 17, 2010, 11:38:00 AM »
Tim Christ wonders: Charles, reading through this thread and in particular your views/perspectives particularly as expressed herein (and with the absence of George, for goodness sakes!), I can't help but wonder if a visit to your physician for a thorough check up might not be in order. For someone who trumpets his own "reasonableness" your reactive writing reads as if you are on the verge of losing it.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #115 on: November 17, 2010, 11:51:59 AM »
Pastor Copeck writes:
Though I will agree with you Charles that some seem to likely to see everything that the ELCA does as a part of a conspiracy.
I respond:
Good. 'Cause it's true.

Pastor Copeck:
But to put the best possible construction on this the ELCA has earned that distrust by routinely ignoring actions or willfully refusing to discipline actions that were at odds with the policy of "this church."
Me:
There is no putting "the best construction" on someone seeing everything the ELCA does as a conspiracy. And in matters of discipline, a person's complaint should be with their synodical bishop, not with "the ELCA," which does not have a direct hand in discipline. And I suppose one must note again, without hope of being understood, that "discipline" may have been applied in many cases without that discipline resulting in a person or congregation being kicked out of the ELCA.

Not "everything."  Just "certain things."

And, if you don't believe that some conspiracies exist, that evil works more frequently in subtle and "behind the scenes" than in "grand displays," and that sin indeed is "prowling at the door" and even our best leaders can be so easily consumed by it, then I think you are being will-fully blind.

It is true that "not everything" the ELCA does is a sinister conspiracy.  It is equally true that "not everything" the ELCA does is motivated by good motives. 

And besides, I was being light-hearted, trying to show you that John's reaction is certainly more reasonable than my first reaction and certainly more charitable.

To borrow a line from the immortal comedy classic Stripes: "Lighten up, Francis."

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #116 on: November 17, 2010, 11:57:30 AM »
Yes, Pastor Kliner, there are those who wallow in conspiracy theories, assume that if it comes from "the ELCA," there is something wrong with it, knows before they read the posting that Pastor Stoffregen has bazooka-ed another key doctrine of the faith, are sure that the ELCA is out to destroy their personal ministry and sanity, believe ecumenism is aiming at the dreaded "one world government", think that our presiding bishop is a reincarnation of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky, and believe the pages of the ELW are coated with a mind control drug.  We get that.
Happy shakin' and quakin' all.  ::)
And then there are those who, confronted with a website apparently full of such idiots, can't help but incessantly post about the the shortcomings of the other posters rather than the topic. Isn't there some other fringe "one world government conspiracy" website you could grace with your 24-7 vigilance?

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #117 on: November 17, 2010, 12:01:40 PM »
Yes, Pastor Kliner, there are those who wallow in conspiracy theories, assume that if it comes from "the ELCA," there is something wrong with it, knows before they read the posting that Pastor Stoffregen has bazooka-ed another key doctrine of the faith, are sure that the ELCA is out to destroy their personal ministry and sanity, believe ecumenism is aiming at the dreaded "one world government", think that our presiding bishop is a reincarnation of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky, and believe the pages of the ELW are coated with a mind control drug.  We get that.
Happy shakin' and quakin' all.  ::)
And then there are those who, confronted with a website apparently full of such idiots, can't help but incessantly post about the the shortcomings of the other posters rather than the topic. Isn't there some other fringe "one world government conspiracy" website you could grace with your 24-7 vigilance?

Hey! Did you just call me an idiot?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

GoCubsGo

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #118 on: November 17, 2010, 02:43:05 PM »
Yes, Pastor Kliner, there are those who wallow in conspiracy theories, assume that if it comes from "the ELCA," there is something wrong with it, knows before they read the posting that Pastor Stoffregen has bazooka-ed another key doctrine of the faith, are sure that the ELCA is out to destroy their personal ministry and sanity, believe ecumenism is aiming at the dreaded "one world government", think that our presiding bishop is a reincarnation of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky, and believe the pages of the ELW are coated with a mind control drug.  We get that.
Happy shakin' and quakin' all.  ::)
And then there are those who, confronted with a website apparently full of such idiots, can't help but incessantly post about the the shortcomings of the other posters rather than the topic. Isn't there some other fringe "one world government conspiracy" website you could grace with your 24-7 vigilance?

Hey! Did you just call me an idiot?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Well, if the shoe fits... ;D

Charles_Austin

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Re: Perils of Church-Related Pensions
« Reply #119 on: November 17, 2010, 03:15:27 PM »
On another thread, I am warned by our moderator about noting the characteristics of the posters, rather than the cold, disconnected, impersonal words of their comments. I am told only to comment on the subject, not the people.
Got that.

So here, someone questions my health (presumably my mental health), and the moderator comments - not on the subject, but on this humble correspondent, with the suggestion that I go somewhere else.
Don't get that. At all.

Oh, and regarding pensions. We have been notified that the cut in our pensions next year will not be nine percent but about six percent.