Foley Beach, the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made statements about the Church Pension Fund and its treatment of ACNA clergy to the primates at their “gathering” #Primates2016. Beach reports what he said in a video interview with Anglican TV (the video is cued to start where he describes what he said what it would take in reconciliation and restitution).
Here’s the rough autotranscript of what Beach says he reported to the primates regarding pensions:
14:47 fourth I said restore to us our pensions and what most people don’t
14:53 realize is yes
14:55 IRS law in the United States this is United States issue Canada was able to
14:58 keep their pensions but if you retire as a priest there’s a formula that.s used and
15:05 you get a large amount to retire as a layperson it’s a small amount well we’ve
15:11 all been deposed and were considered as lay people so for many of our retired
15:15 people their pension now that they paid in two years and years and years is just
15:21 a minimal little things so I said to us our pensions in order to do that you
15:25 would have to rescind the depositions that you had against us and you could
15:32 feel silence in the room but people
15:34 then felt the gravity of what’s been done and where we are and I I mean them
15:41 no ill will you know I pray that God will lead them to a place of repentance
To clear up the errors in Beach’s understanding of the Pension Fund and payments to deposed or removed clergy, Curt Ritter, Head of Corporate Communications for the Fund writes in answer to questions by the Café team:
If a cleric is deposed or removed, he or she may no longer actively participate in the Clergy Pension Plan. However, any vested retirement benefits that have been earned by the cleric up to the date of deposition or removal will be available to the cleric when he or she retires. Their pension benefit will be based on the clergy benefit calculation. Once deposed they are ineligible to earn credited service.
Also as a side note, some of the confusion around this may be because when a cleric is deposed their title changes to secular titles, however their benefits do not.
All the clergy benefit formulas are listed on page 22 and 23 in the Guide which is on the website.
It is surprising that the Primate of ACNA and we assume other clergy in that church do not know how their pensions, that were earned before they voluntarily left the Episcopal Church, are being faithfully administered on their behalf. One of Beach’s demands for reconciliation to occur is “reparations for lost pensions.” But it seems nothing was lost after all. Nothing lost, but the primates were left misinformed.