Changes to Employee Benefit Plans
Lay Pension Plan and Denominational Health Plan Effective January 1, 2013: What You Need to Know and Do
Lay Pension Plan
Each congregation and institution under the authority of the church is required to set up a lay pension plan with the Church Pension Group. The one exception is schools; school requirements are outlined in the LPS Update to Schools which is available below. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the required forms or if you have any questions.
Denominational Health Plan
In accordance with the resolution passed at our diocesan convention this past February, all congregations are to develop and approve a policy for implementation. A sample policy for parishes can be found here:
The resolution passed at our convention is Resolution 12-09, which is available here:
An explanation of the Episcopal Church canons is also available here:
Please email Julie Young, treasurer and canon for finance, for further information.
The Episcopal Church Pension Group offers health insurance through a self-funded program called the Episcopal Church Medical Trust. The soon-to-be implemented, mandatory, Denominational Health Plan (DHP) will help dioceses, parishes and institutions control the rising costs of health care by increasing the number of participants. The plan was established by General Convention in 2009 with the historic passage of Resolution A177 and its associated canonical change, directing the Episcopal Church Medical Trust as administrator.
The Spirit behind the Resolution
The resolution speaks to social justice issues around adequate benefits for the Church’s lay employees. While cost concerns around these initiatives are real, so is the need of lay employees to have adequate pension and healthcare benefits. The support and dedication of lay employees make many ministries possible and providing them with adequate benefits is not only necessary, but essential. Thanks to the actions of General Convention, the Church’s eligible lay employees now will be assured of the safety net of healthcare benefits.
Currently some lay employees do not have access to healthcare benefits, and others have a higher cost share than clergy for the same benefits. Resolution A177 requires that a cost-sharing policy called “parity,” be established by each diocese, and that the access, plan design and cost-share for the healthcare benefits be the same for eligible clergy and lay employees.
Cost Savings Already Realized
Since 2009, the Episcopal Church Medical Trust has experienced material cost savings through economies-of-scale purchasing, and the optimization of provider and prescription drug discounts. These savings have been directly shared with the Church through lower annual premium increases in 2010 and 2011 than national averages. They expect such savings to continue as they we move toward full implementation.
Implementation is happening gradually; the Diocese of San Diego’s will take effect January 1, 2013. It is anticipated that the Church will realize significant cost-savings, and now all eligible clergy and lay employees will enjoy the Medical Trust’s superior benefits and services. In our diocese, the DHP Task Force has created customized guidelines and held educational meetings this fall to help congregations begin implementing the plan.
If you have further questions, visit the DHP Resource Center at www.cpg.org/dhp, call 800-480-9967, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST.
You may also view the PowerPoint presentation below. This was shown at the educational meetings held this fall throughout our diocese.