D003 (Resolution for The Creation of a Clergy Retirement Contribution Fund)
House of Bishops Message #383
The House of Bishops informs the House of Deputies that on Jul 10, 2022 it considered resolution D003 (Resolution for The Creation of a Clergy Retirement Contribution Fund). The house acted to:
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
Pilot Program Authorization – Diocesan Payment of Small and Minority Congregation Pension and Health Plan Costs
That in order to enhance congregational vitality, particularly of historically non-white and small congregations,
General Convention ask and encourage dioceses able to do so to undertake pilot programs to reimburse congregations for, or to assume the payment of, future clergy and lay pension assessment costs and health benefits costs (including family) for historically non-white and small congregations as a means to increase deployment of clergy and lay professionals to such congregations, particularly those congregations likely to have suffered from past racial or language discrimination, and be it further
Resolved, that any Diocese undertaking such steps be asked to report to Executive Council about the initiation of such efforts by January 2024, and to make follow-up annual reports to Executive Council through 2028 about their experience with such programs and their effect on increasing deployment of clergy and lay professionals to such congregations and be it further
Resolved, that for the purposes of this resolution, the term “small congregation” shall mean a congregation whose pledge and plate income is in the lowest twenty percent for their diocese, and without significant income-generating resources of their own, and the term “increasing deployment” shall mean increases in the number of personnel deployed to such congregations as well as an increase in the number of compensated hours they work.
ORIGINAL TEXT OF D003
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church (the “Episcopal Church”) to conduct a study to determine if it is possible to establish a permanent Retirement Contribution Fund (the “Fund”) whereby the applicable pension contributions will be made from such fund to pay the pension contributions of a parish priest’s salary who would serve such parish but for the fact that the required pension contributions makes it unaffordable for the hiring of such priest; and be it further Resolved, that no priest may be eligible to participate in receiving pension contributions from the Fund where his\her parish’s gross income exceeds $250,000; and be it further Resolved, that the study shall include discussions with dioceses to determine the feasibility of a diocese’s ability to contribute a meaningful percentage to the Fund to support a priest’s pension contribution; and be it further Resolved, that The Church Pension Fund also be included in the discussions because of the financial expertise it would bring to the table in the management of pension contributions; and be it further Resolved, that the Officers of the Episcopal Church and Executive Council shall refer this resolution to the appropriate Interim Body for consideration; and be it further Resolved, that The Episcopal Church shall report to the 81st General Convention on the progress that it has made during the triennium in its efforts to effectuate the purposes of this resolution.