Pension and Ministers' Aid Committee (General Conference Mennonite Church)
Pension and Ministers' Aid Committee (or Committee on Pensions) of the General Conference Mennonite Church. For a long period of time the leadership of the General Conference Mennonite Church was aware of the need for a plan to pension its ministers and missionaries at retirement age. In the fall of 1945 the Executive Committee appointed a committee called the Pension and Ministers' Aid Committee. The original members of this committee were August Epp, chairman, Clinton Kaufman, secretary, Mrs. J. E. Entz, Mary Bergen, H. Albert Claassen, and Robert Stauffer. The duties of this committee were defined as twofold: (1) To provide aid for needy ministers and widows of ministers and (2) to work out a plan of pensioning for ministers and missionaries commencing at age 65. Provision was made for direct appeal to the committee for help. A well-defined plan for pensioning ministers and missionaries was adopted at the General Conference sessions in August 1947 at Berne, IN When the constitution of the General Conference was revised this committee received the name of "Committee on Pensions" operating under the Board of Trustees and Finance (after 1956 called the Board of Business Administration).
In general, those who are eligible to enter the retirement plan are full-time ordained ministers, missionaries, both home and foreign, and full-time employees of the district conferences and the General Conference. As a guide to the employing organizations the committee has recommended that an amount equal to 10 per cent of the employees' salary be paid into the Pension Plan. For a number of years the committee advised that one fourth of the payment into the plan ought to be borne by the participant in the plan and three fourths of the cost be paid by the employing organization, such as the church, the Board of Missions, etc. Of recent years the committee changed its recommendation to the employing organizations in that they have been urging the organizations to pay the entire cost of the Pension Plan, thereby making it possible for the minister to enroll in Social Security and pay the cost himself. Benefits for retirement start at the age of 65, and if the participant dies before that time, a lump sum is paid to the surviving family by virtue of the plan having the factor of life insurance. Since Social Security is available to ministers and missionaries in addition to the Pension Plan of the Conference, it now becomes possible for ministers and missionaries to look forward to an income at retirement that can be considered approaching the point of adequacy. The Pension Plan has not been accepted as fully and promptly as it should have been. To date 46 ministers and 78 missionaries are enrolled in the plan (1957).
Reports and Official Minutes of the General Conference Mennonite Church 1947, 1950, 1953, 1956.
Retirement Life Income Plan as Adopted by the General Conference (Newton, 1948).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 144-145. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Epp, August. "Pension and Ministers' Aid Committee (General Conference Mennonite Church)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4668.html.
APA style: Epp, August. (1959). Pension and Ministers' Aid Committee (General Conference Mennonite Church). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4668.html.