Like churches of all denominations, the Church of the Nazarene has not been immune to current economic challenges. Recent news media coverage of these challenges includes concerns faced in the USA by many public and private pension plans. The decline in the value of invested assetshas affected not only personal accounts but also assets of pooled trusts from which these plans are funded.
Church of the Nazarene Pension asset values have also declined. Revenues by way of payments into the USA Pensions & Benefits Fund are down, reflecting economic conditions of many local congregations. Like most employers, whether public or private, churches generally do not carry enough excess cash reserves outside their plans to make up immediately for these declines.
The Board of Pensions and Benefits USA, the Investment Committee of the General Board, and the Board of General Superintendents have been working together to address this issue for the Nazarene plans. Though no quick or easy solutions are at hand, there is a shared resolve to address the challenges and to honor the trust of those who now and in the future will rely on income from our pension plans.
While there is no immediate danger, without taking action today to improve the funded status of our plans, we could be faced with undesirable circumstances within the next decade. Immense help for this situation would be provided by the resolve of every local Church of the Nazarene in the United States to make full payment of its Pensions & Benefits Fund obligation a renewed priority.
As we await a strengthening and recovery of the economy and the return to full employment levels nationwide, we are absolutely confident in God's abundant provisions and the faithfulness of His people. Together we will fulfill our promises and honor the sacred trust of our dedicated ministers and their surviving spouses. We are committed to these promises and pledge no less than our best efforts and firm determination to live up to them.
The Board of General Superintendents