Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention recognizes that the pension plans for lay employees provided for by the 76th General Convention in Resolution 2009-A138 do not provide equity in retirement benefits when compared to the pension plan for clergy provided by the Church Pension Fund pursuant to Canon I.8.1; and be it further
Resolved, That this General Convention affirms that in the interests of justice the pension plans for clergy and lay employees should be as equitable as possible; and be it further
Resolved, That to move towards equity between the pension plans for lay employees and clergy the following changes shall be made to the principles for providing pensions to lay employees as set forth in Resolution 2009-A138 such that principle 1 of that Resolution will now read:
1. The lay employee pension system shall provide benefits that shall include defined benefit plan(s) and defined contribution plan(s). Every eligible lay employee shall be offered a choice between participation in either a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan.
Principle 2 of Resolution 2009-A138 will now read:
2. If a defined benefit plan is selected by the employee, the employer assessment and/or contribution shall be not less than nine (9) percent of the employee’s compensation through 2019. The employer assessment and/or contribution shall increase by one (1) percent of the employee’s compensation in 2020 and for each year thereafter until the employer assessment and/or contribution reaches eighteen (18) percent. If a defined contribution plan is selected by the employee, the employer shall contribute not less than five (5) percent of the employee’s compensation through 2019. The employer’s contribution shall increase by one (1) percent of the employee’s compensation in 2020 and for each year thereafter until the employer assessment reaches eighteen (18) percent. The employer shall match at least four (4) percent of the employee’s contribution in 2019 and the employer’s match of the employee’s contribution shall increase by one (1) percent per year until the total contribution of the employer, both by contribution and match, totals eighteen (18) percent.
Currently there are two pension plans for lay employees of the church. The Defined Benefit Plan and the Defined Contribution Plan. The Defined Benefit Plan provides for a 9% contribution paid by the employer; while the Defined Contribution Plan provides for a 5% contribution paid by the employer and the allowance for a 4% contribution by the employee.
The church has long stated that it believes in the mutual ministry of lay and ordained members of the church; yet, the financial compensation plans for ordained members far exceed those offered to most lay employees, even if experience and education backgrounds are similar. Studies have shown that compensation plans for women, whether ordained or lay also lag behind those for men. One way to begin bridging this gap is by equalizing pensions for all employees to the current level offered for those who are ordained.
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