WCC NEWS: WCC pension fund stabilized and transferred to new management

From "World Council of Churches" <news@wcc-coe.org>
Date Thu, 26 Apr 2012 08:07:19 -0700

World Council of Churches - News
Contact: +41 79 507 6363; media@wcc-coe.org


For immediate release: 26 April 2012

The pension fund of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has been brought out of 
a deficit position and is being transferred to Profond, a collective pension 
fund institution that manages more than 3 billion Swiss francs in assets under 
its contracts with nearly 1,700 Swiss employers.

Reasons for the WCC pension fundâs deficit have included the global financial 
crisis beginning in 2008 and a growing imbalance between retired members 
drawing income from the pension plan and active members who contribute payments 
to the fundâs balance. Retirees currently represent approximately 70 percent of 

âProfond has the capacity for the long-term management of our retirement 
benefits under the newly defined contributions pension scheme,â explained the 
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. âBoth staff and 
retirees should experience uninterrupted service during the transition.â

The WCC pension fund was stabilized in March 2012 through an extraordinary 
contribution by the WCC of 24 million francs, covering the existing deficit. 
This contribution secured the retirement benefits of staff and retirees and 
made possible the agreement to transfer responsibility for the fund to Profond.

The extraordinary contribution was made possible by a loan to the WCC from the 
Co-op Bank in Switzerland.

Tveit says that, with a solution to the pensions issue in place, WCC leadership 
is now prepared to turn its attention to financial opportunities related to 
Geneva-area real estate owned by the council. âWe have engaged in a development 
partnership with a leading Swiss contractor, Implenia Development,â he added.

âI am very excited about the move to Profond and the next steps we will take in 
the further development of WCC assets,â Tveit concluded.

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and 
service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches 
founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, 
Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in 
over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The 
WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church 
of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland. 

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