DALLAS (BP)–An advisory statement was issued by the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention Aug. 18 concerning a retirement plan to be offered by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship beginning Oct. 1.
The Annuity Board advisory statement contrasting the board’s Church Annuity Plan and the CBF’s retirement plan cited:
— differences in net amount of retirement savings for participants.
— differences in insurance costs.
— differences in administrative costs.
The CBF plan will be offered in partnership with the American Baptist Churches in the USA’s Ministers and Missionaries Benefits Board.
The full statement by the Annuity Board reads:
“Representatives of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention have indicated they are happy to work with participants who may choose to transfer their retirement accounts to other providers.
“However, as a matter of stewardship, the Annuity Board believes it is important to clearly identify differences in its Church Annuity Plan and plans offered by other providers.
“In a recent ABP press release, it was reported that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) has announced the launch of a new retirement plan offered through partnership with the Ministers and Missionaries Benefits Board of the American Baptist Churches in the USA. The article states that the plan offered by the CBF-related Church Benefits Board ‘will be based on contributions of 10% of an employee’s annual compensation. Seven percent will go into retirement, 1 percent will cover administrative fees and the remaining 2 percent will provide for disability and group term-life insurance.’
“Based on the CBF announced allocation of the 10% contribution, only 70% of the participant’s contribution actually helps the participant prepare for retirement. In the Annuity Board’s Church Annuity Plan, 100% of the participant’s contribution goes toward preparing the participant for retirement. Additionally, eligible participants in the Church Annuity Plan receive a $210 contribution into their retirement accounts provided by their state Baptist convention.
“The CBF plan indicated that 20% of the 10% contribution will buy disability and term-life insurance. In the Annuity Board’s Church Annuity Plan, participants receive a $500 per month disability benefit and up to a $100,000 survivor benefit at no additional cost to the participant. These benefits are provided through the cooperative efforts of the state Baptist conventions and the Annuity Board.
“The CBF plan requires that 10% of the participant’s contribution will be used for operational expenses. Such a charge is most often referred to as a front-end load. There are no front-end loads through the Annuity Board’s Church Annuity Plan. Every cent of a participant’s contribution goes directly into the participant’s retirement account. The Annuity Board’s operational expenses average less than 1% and are calculated as a part of the daily net asset value of the funds.
“O.S. Hawkins, president and chief executive officer of the Annuity Board, stated, ‘We realize all of our participants have a choice as where they place their dollars for retirement. We believe the Annuity Board offers significant competitive advantages for Southern Baptist ministers and employees. We are committed to our stewardship of serving those who serve the Lord.'”