From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Penison Board Moves Ahead with Pension Changes

Date 30 May 1996 13:40:42


May 30, 1996


     MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America's Board of Pensions is on track for a major change in its
pension and investment plan Jan. 1, 1997, Board President John G.
Kapanke reported to trustees at their quarterly meeting here May
9-10.  He said that on or after Jan. 1 two-thirds of the board#s
$3.4 billion in assets, now in bond and balanced funds, would be
converted to a market value basis.  Currently the funds are
valued on a "contributions plus credited interest basis."
     Kapanke said any funds with a Jan. 1 market value below the
amount contributed by plan members would not be converted until
the market value was higher.  Plan members would have the option
of converting their funds to market value at any time.  All new
contributions after Jan. 1 would be credited at market value.
     In response to member queries, the board agreed to
investigate ways for plan members nearing retirement to transfer
funds to the pensioner reserve fund.  This could help the
transition from the new market-based active funds to the
interest-credited retirement account that funds lifetime
pensions.  But plan members had worried that, if the market were
down significantly on the day they begin their retirement, their
pension income would suffer.  Board staff said they would review
options of making the transfer in stages.
     Also at the ELCA Board of Pensions trustees meeting:
     *    Trustees were informed that plan members could now use
          the Internet to obtain a list of doctors part of the
          Aetna Managed Choice/Point of Service network
          (  A link to that site is
          provided from the ELCA Home Page (

          The network provides managed health care for about half
          of the board's plan members.
     *    Staff reported on the initiation of a project to
          address areas where the Aetna managed care network is
          "weak" or does not exist.
     *    Financially the various medical plans and trusts are in
          sound condition, staff reported.  Medical/dental claims
          are running slightly below what was estimated, and
          investment results for reserves have been favorable.
     *    The board's total investment performance across all
          stock, bond and balanced funds continues to outperform
          its benchmarks.  For the period ending March 31, one-
          year performance was 21.43 percent, three-year
          annualized performance was 11.31 percent,  and five-
          year performance was 12.53 percent.

For information contact: Ann Hafften, Dir., ELCA News Service,
(312) 380-2958; Frank Imhoff, Assoc. Dir., (312) 380-2955; Lia
Christiansen, Asst. Dir., (312) 380-2956

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