Serving Those Who Serve The Church
The goal of MCC’s Board of Pensions is to maintain a well-managed fund and dependable service to licensed, ordained MCC Clergy who live in the United States. Working with eligible clergy and responsible financial advisors, we work to contribute a reliable, secure supplement to your overall retirement portfolio.
The UFMCC Defined Benefit Pension Plan and Trust is a secure retirement program that serves those who serve MCC churches in the United States. Our sole purpose is to serve our members: licensed, ordained clergy of the Metropolitan Community Churches who serve ministries in the USA.
The Board of Pensions pursues an investment strategy and portfolio that offers our participants secure, well-funded pension plans. Through sound investment advice and responsible plan administration, we seek to increase the value of pension benefits and protect our participants from market fluctuations.
Members of the Board of Pensions (USA)
Plan Administrator: Tammy Erwin BOP@mccchurch.net
President: Rev. Tom Emmett email@example.com
Vice-President: Keith Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Tony Somora email@example.com
Clerk: Jeremiah Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dewayne Davis email@example.com
Rev. Alycia Erickson firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Wesley Mullins email@example.com
Frieda Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are documents needed for clergy upon enrollment in the plan, and when they wish to receive the benefit. Also included below are the forms needed for quarterly contributions to the Plan. If you have any questions, please email the plan administrator (email@example.com).
(Updated: 18 January 2017)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Defined Benefit Plan?
The Defined Benefit Plan is a pension plan that offers each participant retirement benefits based on a defined or predetermined formula based on years of credited service.
Who is eligible to join the Defined Benefit Plan?
Licensed MCC clergy serving in the U.S. and who have completed four consecutive years of service in an approved ministry are eligible to join the Plan. They are automatically enrolled in their fifth year.
What Benefits can be expected from the Defined Benefit Plan?
UFMCC’s Defined Benefit Plan is intended to serve as a supplementary retirement benefit in that this plan will not provide sufficient income to meet your retirement needs. The plan also provides benefits in the event of disability or death. You should plan for additional sources of retirement income.
How is the Plan funded?
The Defined Benefit Plan is funded from mandatory contributions from churches of $0.75 per church member per month paid quarterly.
How are Plan funds invested?
The plan consists of a balanced portfolio in professionally managed and monitored mutual funds. The Board of Pensions oversees investments and is guided by an Investment Policy Statement.
How do I enroll in the Defined Benefit Plan?
Effective 01/01/12 clergy are now automatically enrolled in the plan. We encourage those clergy to send us at least the beneficiary portion of the Enrollment – Beneficiary Form including all soc. Sec. numbers so we can find them in later years. You may e-mail the form to BOP@MCCchurch.net or by postal mail to:
UFMCC Board of Pensions (USA)
P.O. Box 50488
Sarasota, Florida 34232 USA
Please make sure you receive confirmation that we received it.
When can I draw my retirement benefits?
Plan benefits are normally distributed upon retirement at age 65 years, or after 10 years of participation in the plan, whichever is latest. Plan participants must draw their retirement benefits no later than age 70.5. For more information, see Article IV of the Defined Benefit Plan and Trust.
How are retirement benefits paid out?
Plan participants may choose a lump sum payment or monthly annuity payments for life.
What if I become disabled before I reach retirement age?
Plan participants who become disabled (defined as unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long, continued, and indefinite duration) may begin receiving benefits upon Determination of Disability by the Board of Pensions. See Article VI of the Defined Benefit Plan for more information.
What if I die before reaching retirement?
If you die before reaching retirement age, your designated beneficiary will receive a distribution based on the greater of the value of your vested accrued benefit or the value of your contributions. For more information, see Article V of the Defined Benefit Plan and Trust.
Why is it that the Board of Pensions only provides a retirement supplement for US clergy and not all MCC clergy?
Great question. All of us on the Board of Pensions wishes that the benefit we provide to US clergy would also extend to our MCC sisters and brothers, and siblings outside of the US. However, US law does not allow for this. Clergy outside of the United States are encouraged to work with the Governing Board to set up their own pension plan under the laws of their home country. We also encourage every MCC church in the world to provide for additional retirement vehicles for their clergy.
Board of pensions (USA) proposes rate increase
Later this year eligible MCC clergy and Lay Delegates will be asked to increase each MCC Congregation’s quarterly investment into the UFMCC Pension Plan USA. Since its inception in 1984, the required quarterly amount that each US MCC must invest in the plan has not increased from $0.75 per church member, per month, paid quarterly.
Back in 1984, a first class stamp was 20 cents, a gallon of gas was $1.21 and the average price of a new car or truck was well under $10,000. A dozen eggs would only set you back a buck. A lot has changed since 1984, when Reagan was president, the movie “Ghostbusters” was a hit and “Dallas” & “Dynasty” were TV favorites, but one thing that has NOT changed is what the local church is required to set aside to thank and support their clergy in retirement. We believe it’s time to correct this oversight.
Register to Vote
Since the inception of the MCC Pension Plan in 1984, the assessment for each MCC chartered Congregation has not changed from its current level of $0.75 USD per member, per month, paid quarterly. Had the Pension assessment kept pace with inflation over the past 33 years, the current assessment would be $1.72 USD.
- All clergy and Lay Delegates must register to vote at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MCCBoardOfPensionsSurvey If you do not register, you will not receive a voting ballot.
- Registration closes on June 1. Time is needed to confirm voting eligibility.
- On June 5, all registered and eligible voters will receive an email that will contain a link and two passwords which will be needed to open the voting ballot. If you registered but do not receive an email with your link and passwords on June 5, contact (firstname.lastname@example.org
- Voting begins on June 7 and will be open for 48 hours.
(Updated: 24 May 2017)
For questions: Tammy Erwin, Plan Administrator, at email@example.com
Rev. Tom Emmett, Plan President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information About the Proposal
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.
Announcement of Virtual General Conference Regarding Contributions to the UFMCC US Pension Plan
The MCC Governing Board has called for a Virtual General Conference at the request of the MCC Board of Pensions, USA to vote on a change of the church assessment rate for contributions to the US MCC Pension Plan. The vote will be: 7 June 2017. Please see the complete timeline below.
Our current MCC Bylaws (effective 5 July 2016) stipulate that the General Conference has the only authority to set the assessment rate. This is why, while the MCC US Pension Plan only impacts US churches and clergy serving or have served in US settings, the entire General Conference is required to vote to enact recommended changes. The Governing Board is aware that currently there are not MCC provided options for retirement benefits for our clergy outside the US, and we remain committed to exploring feasible options.
Since the inception of the MCC Pension Plan in 1984, the assessment for each MCC affiliated Congregation has not changed from its current level of $0.75 USD per member, per month, paid quarterly. Had the Pension assessment kept pace with inflation over the past 33 years, the current assessment would be $1.72 USD.
The General Conference, as empowered by Bylaw Article IX, section D, votes:
That each MCC affiliated congregation in the United States provide investment contributions to the MCC Pension Plan according to the following schedule:
2018 — $1.00 USD, per member, per month
2019 — $1.25 USD, per member, per month
2020 — $1.50 USD, per member, per month
2021 — $1.75 USD, per member, per month
Thereafter, beginning in 2025, the rate of investment will be adjusted every 5 years, up or down, based on inflation or deflation of the US Dollar.
Each local church will increase their payment by $0.25 USD per year beginning in 2018. In 2021, the monthly per member assessment will reach $1.75 USD. Thereafter, the assessment will be periodically adjusted, up or down, with inflation. If this measure is approved, each local church should plan to budget accordingly.
There is no impact to finances on a denominational level as UFMCC does not contribute to the US Pension Plan as a denomination.
A “Yes” Vote: Will help to maintain the solvency of the US Pension Plan and allow MCC churches the opportunity to offer this benefit to our current and future clergy.
A “No” Vote: Will leave the plan vulnerable as our denomination adds clergy and as a large segment of our clergy become eligible for retirement. This vulnerability will increase if US churches continue to decline and / or in the event of a market downturn.
12 May 2017: Invitations were sent to registered & eligible Clergy & Lay Delegates via Survey Monkey
Note: All churches that were eligible to vote at General Conference 2016 are considered eligible to vote on this proposal. All Clergy eligible to vote at General Conference 2016 and all clergy that have been ordained since General Conference 2016 are eligible to vote.
Information Webinars: 23 May 2017
9 a.m. EST / 13:00 GMT; German and English
11 a.m. EST / 15:00 GMT; Portuguese and Spanish
7 June 2017, 9 a.m. EST / 13:00 GMT: Virtual Vote via Survey Monkey
(48 hour window to vote)
UFMCC Bylaws (As of 5 July 2016)
ARTICLE IX – CHURCH FINANCES
D. BOARD OF PENSIONS ASSESSMENTS: Each local church administrative body in the USA shall report quarterly the number of members in good standing for each month within every quarter and shall remit the Board of Pensions assessment as set by General Conference. Report and remittance are due to the Board of Pensions on or before the tenth (10th) day of the month following the quarter reported.
Recording of March Webinar: https://vimeo.com/207796185