Q. How many people participate in the BIC Pension Fund?
The BIC Pension Fund currently has 387 participants enrolled. They have served the Church as missionaries, pastors, church planters, and other similar roles.
Q. How much is needed to fund the BIC Pension Fund?
The amount needed is an estimate based on participants’ ages and life expectancies, along with the projected increase of invested assets. Based on actuarial calculations, as of December 31, 2015, it was estimated that the fund will disburse a total of $14.5 million to meet the obligations to plan participants. The value of the fund assets on December 31, 2015, was just over $6.3 million. Allowing for anticipated growth in the investments, the actuarial calculation is that an additional $3.2 million is needed in the fund in order to meet the total projected disbursements.
Q. Why is the BIC Pension Fund underfunded?
In the late 1990s, the BIC Pension Fund held sufficient funds to meet its promises to plan participants. In an effort to better serve its workers, the Church increased its promised monthly payments. However, the subsequent economic recession significantly devalued the fund’s investments, creating an underfunding.
Q. What is the current investment strategy for the assets in the fund?
Following the loss of funds due to the economic recession, the plan trustees moved the remaining assets into safer investments. These investments typically do not have the growth potential of riskier investments. Today, the funds are invested in a balanced asset allocation designed to match the BIC Pension Fund’s liability needs.
Q. How much money is needed to successfully meet the need?
By meeting our Honor the Past goal of $3.2 million, we will be able to address the BIC Pension Fund underfunding. By meeting our Build the Future goal of an additional $1.8 million (for a campaign total of $5 million), we can dedicate funds specifically for church multiplication efforts.
Q. How will donations be used?
All donations to the campaign will be placed in the Honor the Past: Build the Future fund and will be restricted to the campaign’s purposes as described in “Goals.”
Q. Who is helping advance the campaign?
Our goal is to achieve widespread participation across the Brethren in Christ U.S.
Q. Why should I donate to the campaign?
The Brethren in Christ U.S. is indebted to the sacrificial service and leadership of those who served the Church on both the home and global missions fields. Through their ministries, many people came to know, love, and follow Jesus. We are committed to honoring their sacrifice by supporting them in retirement and continuing their legacy through church multiplication.
Q. How are the Church’s current financial needs met?
Of tithes and offerings congregations receive, we ask they give 10 percent undesignated to the ministries of the Church. Common Ministries (formerly Cooperative Ministries) are shared ministries of all BIC congregations—such as World Missions, church-planting efforts, and leadership development. Individuals are also encouraged to donate to Common Ministries. Donations made to the Honor the Past: Build the Future campaign are intended to be in addition to donations made to Common Ministries.
Q. Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, to the full extent as allowed by law.
Q. What kinds of donations are acceptable?
Donate online or make your check payable to “Brethren in Christ U.S.” at 431 Grantham Road, Mechanicsburg, Pa., 17055, with “Honor the Past: Build the Future” in the memo line. Appreciated securities may prove to have special tax advantages for some and are also acceptable.
Q. Is it helpful to include the Brethren in Christ U.S. in my will?
Yes. Although including the Brethren in Christ U.S. in your estate planning may not directly benefit this campaign, it is a great way to support the Church’s mission and ministries into the future.