INDIANAPOLIS – In response to the discussion of the Retiree Medicare premium subsidy at the 2013 Annual Conference Session, Bishop Mike Coyner asked the members of the Retiree Health Insurance Funding Task Force to continue to meet to review the concerns of the conference and make a proposal to the Board for consideration and submission to the 2014 Annual Conference.

The task force met and asked the Rev. George Hunsaker and Brent Williams to seek information on the level of pension being received by retirees. As a result, the actuarial department of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits provided reports detailing the pension benefit received by retired clergy based upon certain assumptions. That data showed the following minimum benefit being received by clergy with 35 years of service who retired as of certain dates (the full report is available on the Indiana Conference website – Benefits page www.inumc.org/benefits). 

Retirement Date

Monthly Benefit Received

from all plans as of 1/1/2013

1/1/1995

$1,821.27

1/1/2000

$2,203.08

1/1/2005

$2,861.75

1/1/2010

$2,662.81

1/1/2013

 $2,755.51

From this information, the Task Force and Board were able to better understand the benefit being received by persons with service under the various plans and when those benefit levels changed. Persons with the greater number of service under the pre-1982 plan, retirement years 1995 and earlier, receive significantly less pension income than those that retired in 2005 and thereafter.

Based on this information and information gleaned from George Hunsaker, the following recommendation for subsidy support for both retired clergy and spouse (if both are on the Conference Medicare Supplement program) is being recommended.

  • All participants who retired prior to 1990 will continue to receive $5/month/service year subsidy for up to 30 years of service.
  • All participants who retired in 1990 thru 2004 will receive $4/month/service year subsidy for up to 30 years of service.
  • All participants who retired in 2005 thru 2015 will receive $3/month/service year subsidy for up to 30 years of service.
  • All participants who retire in 2016 and beyond will receive $2/month/service subsidy for up to 30 years of service.

No change in Surviving Spouse Benefit

For Surviving Spouse/Dependents, there will be a grace period of 12 months following the death of the clergy or conference lay employee, during which the conference will pay the full cost of the premium.

For Surviving Spouses over the age of 65, an amount of $250 will be credited towards the premium charged by the Conference-sponsored, Medicare Supplement Plans.

Comments welcomed

The board welcomes questions and comments to this post. Chairperson Greg Rittenhouse will respond to content questions. Director of Administrative Services Brent Williams will respond to technical questions.

Questions and comments also can be sent by email to acquestions@inumc.org. Answers to email questions will begin to be posted after the Annual Conference 2014 Live Webcast Sunday, May 4. In addition, there will be three Annual Conference Information Sessions across Indiana all on Sunday, May 18 (visit www.inumc.org/ac14 for details).