Close X
  • Our Focus
  • Home
  • About
  • Ministries
  • Missions
  • Events
  • News
  • Resources
  • Our Focus



    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Recommendations of Board of Pensions and Health Benefits Supported at Annual Conference

    October 7, 2022 / By Tara Barnes, Director of Denominational Relations, United Women in Faith

    Upper New York Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits chair, the Rev. Sara Baron presented the board’s report and recommendations to annual conference Oct. 7, 2022.

    The board’s work is to find ways to provide for the pensions and health care benefits of clergy and conference employees without placing undue financial burdens on local churches. It brought before the Conference two resolutions relating to rental/housing allowances for retired, terminated or disabled clergypersons of the Conference.

    The board recommended a housing and rental exclusion designating 100 percent of United Methodist clergy pension, severance, or disability income as a housing exclusion (in line with IRS code section 107) and a 1 percent increase in past service rate for pension payment to retired clergy whose years of service began prior to 1982.

    “This work requires careful attention to detail, a desire to care well for both churches and for clergy and lay employees and intentionality in creating policies that reflect god's justice in the world,” the Rev. Baron said.

    Both recommendations were supported.

    Taking into consideration the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the board extended its arrearages policy, allowing some churches a break from direct pension and health payments, through the end of 2022.

    The Rev. Baron also shared that the 2021 special grants included two retired clergy, one Comprehensive Protection Plan participants and two clergy widows equaling a cumulative annual payout of $22,407.36.

    The Wespath HealthFlex Exchange implemented in 2021 remains the plan for 2023.

    The Rev. Baron explained that even though costs increased by 12 percent, the increased cost to churches will be only 3 percent, or $400.

    “The remaining 6 percent of increased costs will be absorbed by the board,” the Rev. Baron said. “Our intention is to smooth the transition to these higher costs.”

    She also reported that there is no change to the retiree health reimbursable accounts, and no changes are proposed for the future.

    The board presented its 2023 Comprehensive Benefit Funding Plan, which can be found in the Journal updates.

    The Conference then adopted the whole of the board’s report.

    The recommendations and report can be found in the Journal on pages 18-19 and 66-70. To learn more about the Conference’s health benefit program policies, visit the benefits and administrative services website.

    TAGGED / Annual Conference 2022

    With more than 125,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 800 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."