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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Minimum wage, salary, and arrearage policy changes for 2020

    December 4, 2019 / By Susan Latessa, Director of Human Resources/Benefits / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Greetings! Your Conference staff sincerely hopes that you are well and receiving the blessings that the Season of Advent brings to us as followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Enclosed you will find your monthly billing statement along with important information pertaining to the new minimum wage and salary requirements and a new direct bill arrearage policy. Information on both items are detailed below.

    Minimum wage/salary requirements effective 12/31/2019 (Impacts any church(es) with paid laity)
    New York State (NYS) is raising the minimum wage/salary requirements for EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT WORKER STATUS. Click here for more information about the changes.

    It is very important that you review the status of your paid lay staff. Being out of compliance with the minimum wage/salary requirements could lead to legal issues such as fines and back-pay that could become very costly.

    New Direct Bill Arrearage Policy – Effective 1/1/2020 (Impacts full-time benefits eligible pastors)
    The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits has approved a new arrearage policy that could have an impact on your benefits if you/your church carry an arrearage on your direct bill.

    Currently, if you/your church has an arrearage on your direct bill, you likely receive notification from the Conference Office, your DS or both asking you to contact the Conference office to make payment arrangements. Some contact us; many do not.

    How is this new policy different and why did the Board establish it?

    Since the one-time arrearage forgiveness from the Board a few years ago, the total accumulated amount of direct bill’s, UNPAID is $787,673.04. This is money that is supposed to be used to pay premiums to Wespath for your benefits. As a result of these arrearages, the CBOPHB has to pay Wespath at the end of the year out of the investment accounts. Unpaid direct bills accompanied by increasing benefit costs has not only resulted in increasing cost to the church and personal premiums from your paychecks, the Board has to continue to look at the sustainability of benefits and ways we can work together with you, so future benefits are not jeopardized for active clergy (or for current/future retirees).

    The new policy outlines the process, which now involves Wespath, as well as consequences (while active and potentially into retirement) for ongoing non-payment. Click here to read the full arrearage policy.

    As always, we are here to care for those who serve God and God’s Kingdom. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Thank you for your ministry.

    TAGGED / Benefits and Administrative Services / Camp and Retreat Ministry (CRM) / Connectional Ministries / Episcopal Office / Finance / New Faith Communities / Vital Congregations

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."