Windy City Trip for MS UM Clergy
By Jasmine Haynes, Web and Social Media Specialist
(Seated left to right) Barbara G. Boigegrain, General Secretary of General Board of Pension (GBOP); Jeanne Featherstone, Actuary of the (GBOP); Rev. Tim Prather, chair of the MS Conference Board of Pension; (standing left to right) David Stotts, Sarah Hillman, Byrd Hillman and Larry Davis--all from the MS Conference.
Four members of the Mississippi United Methodist Conference finance and administrative office and the Pension Board chairperson recently attended the Association of United Methodist Conference Pension Benefits Officer's Meeting in Chicago to stay informed on the latest trainings and best practices.
According to Mississippi United Methodist Conference treasurer, David Stotts, "The session was very helpful because it adds to our knowledge of the plans and we are able to make sure we're doing a good job administering and educating our participants so that they can make informed decisions about their pension plans."
The Association of Conference Benefits Officer's Meeting also discussed an opportunity for clergy and employees participating in the conference pension plans to call financial advisory company, Ernst & Young for assistance with financial, investment and retirement planning free of charge.
The General Board of Pension is launching an initiative to increase young clergy's engagement in retirement planning. "The initiative aims to discover how we can get young clergy to be involved earlier in their career so that they don't wait until the last few years of their active ministry to start investing," said Stotts.
The Conference Board of Pension will reveal the details of the young clergy initiative later this year.
With the coming implementation of the Mississippi United Methodist Conference's retirement benefit plans for their full-time and less than full-time clergy, attending the meeting also allowed Stotts to listen to what other conferences are doing to best educate clergy and employees of useful tools and options made available to them through their retirement benefit plans.
In Mississippi, there are over 800 active and retired clergy participating in the Mississippi Annual Conference health plan and 658 active clergy enrolled in the conference pension plan.