INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits has received the report of the conference’s Retiree Health Funding Task Force and will be making related recommendations to the 2013 Indiana Annual Conference Session meeting June 6-8 in Indianapolis.

The task force was created by the 2012 Indiana Annual Conference in response to reductions in funding of its Retiree Subsidy by the Annual Conference Tithe budget. The task force sought to design a subsidy, which would fit within existing funding sources and maintain the values upon which the subsidy had been built.

The task force sought to hold to the following values:

  • Foremost, the group wanted to provide the greatest care for our surviving spouses.
  • If we were going to eliminate any groups from funding, we wanted to allow time to adjust to the change.
  • We knew that we had budgetary guidelines to meet, as well.

The recommendations of the task force, which were adopted by the board include:

  • Continue to fund the Surviving Spouse Subsidy at $250 per month.
  • Reduce the subsidy amount from $5 to $4 per-service-year for retired clergy and spouse effective January 1, 2014, for all retiree/spouse participants.
  • Cease funding of retirees (and spouses) who will retire after July 1, 2013.

The report continues by giving these recommendations:

  • We are able to meet our financial targets.
  • Though there is an initial need to fund a small portion from reserves, we believe this is possible in the short run.
  • The retiree/spouse cost will decrease during the coming years, as no new participants will be added and the number of participants will decrease.
  • No participant currently loses his or her subsidy, though the subsidy amount for retiree and spouse is lowered by $1 per-service-year.

A Frequently-Asked-Questions document on retiree healthcare issues and the General Conference changes to the UMC Pension plan are located online at www.inumc.org/ac13 and at www.inumc.org/benefits. There one also will find the Retirees Health Insurance Funding Task Force Report.