Pension staff plans for possible ways forward

Whatever delegates decide at the 2019 General Conference, the denomination’s pension agency wants United Methodist clergy and lay workers to know their accrued benefits aren’t going anywhere.

However, Wespath Benefits and Investments is also looking at ways to ensure the benefits’ long-term sustainability.

“Our agency has been around for over 100 years. We’ve gone through world wars. We’ve gone through financial crises,” said Barbara Boigegrain, Wespath’s top executive.

“As the whole world is changing, one thing we hope you can count on is Wespath and your benefits being there when you need them. That’s our focus.”

Wespath is the name under which the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits does business. Among other tasks, the agency manages investments for pensions and other retirement-plan assets on behalf of conferences, which are plan sponsors and legally responsible for paying benefits. In addition, the agency manages assets for more than 100 other United Methodist-related institutions.

Agency staff are doing whatever they can to prepare for the denomination’s uncertain future, and that means taking steps to make sure conferences can meet their pension obligations without disruption.

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