Q: What is the MCC Pension Plan USA?
A: It is a modest retirement supplement for licensed US MCC clergy.
Q: Why is this important?
A: In order to attract clergy to MCC it is important to provide benefits. Currently, this plan is the ONLY benefit that MCC provides to its clergy.
Q: How is it funded?
A: Currently each MCC Congregation pays $0.75 per member, per month, paid quarterly.
Q: Has there ever been an increase before?
A: No, there has never been an increase since the plan was created in 1984.
Q: What has been the impact of inflation on the actual contribution?
A: In today’s dollars, $0.75 in 1984 would be worth about $1.75. In other words, inflation has reduced the contribution by almost 60% over the last 32 years.
Q: Why don’t we decide this at our meeting in Victoria?
A: The MCC Governing Board determined that the General Conference business session already had before it a very large agenda and did not want to add another significant item of business.
Q: Instead of increasing the contribution, why can’t you make up the difference by seeking a higher return on the plan’s investments?
A: We have a strict investment policy that limits how aggressive (risky) we can be.
Q: How much do our clergy get from the plan when they retire?
A: It depends on several factors based on IRS regulations. MCC US clergy receive a unit benefit of $6 per month for every year of service and are vested in the plan after 10 years. At retirement, eligible clergy can either select a lump sum payout or a monthly annuity. The amount of the benefit varies, but it is currently not enough to retire on. It should be seen as “icing on the cake” of a clergy’s overall plans for retirement.
Q: What are the consequences if we keep the current rate of $0.75 per member per quarter?
A: We have a lot of clergy from the Baby-Boomer generation looking toward retirement. Together, their retirement will take a big bite out of the plan’s principle. It’s possible that benefits would have to be reduced for younger clergy in the future.
Q: What else can the local church do to support their clergy?
A: Local US congregations are encouraged to work with their clergy and a financial advisor to provide for additional retirement for MCC Clergy.