On Feb. 26, Concordia Plan Services (CPS) announced several modifications to its Concordia Retirement Plan (CRP), effective July 1, 2014. The Synod Board of Directors approved the changes Feb. 21.
The changes were announced in letters sent to active workers, employers and retired workers in the CRP. Those letters make clear that the changes do not affect those who are retired or their surviving spouses, and do not affect retirement benefits earned before July 1, 2014.
“The economic environment, both domestic and global, has been challenging,” said CPS President and CEO Jim Sanft. “Like all others, our retirement programs have felt the impact. Our plan is sound today; however, unlike many others we are taking actions to sustain the plan going into the future.”
Sanft went on to say that the modifications taking place July 1, 2014, are intended to achieve two key goals: preserve the core of the CRP and sustain the plan by making changes now. Sanft added, “We will not kick the can down the road.”
A news release about the changes notes, “The effects of the economic recession and prolonged recovery are changing the complexion of the retirement industry,” and continues that the CRP changes are “in response to these factors and to preserve the core retirement benefits for retirees, as well as current and future church workers.”
The CRP adjustments include those “for early retirement, changes to the post-retirement death benefit and adjusting the normal retirement age to generally conform with the normal Social Security retirement age,” according to the news release. The letters from CPS provide more details about the changes.
“To help plan members prepare for these adjustments,” the release continues, “[CPS] will increase education efforts on the benefits of a defined benefit/defined contribution approach to retirement, and the importance of saving for retirement.”
For more information about the plan changes, go to the CPS website at www.concordiaplans.org. Information also is available on the website about town-hall meetings with CPS leaders who also will be prepared to offer details about the changes coming next year. Those meetings — planned for this spring and summer — will be hosted by LCMS congregations, schools, and colleges and universities nationwide.
CPS provides retirement, health care and other benefits to about 100,000 current and retired workers of the LCMS and their dependents. This includes pension benefits to about 19,000 retirees and 11,000 former workers with deferred payments.
Posted March 5, 2013