ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Telling North American Mission Board staff “considerable change” is coming, President Kevin Ezell shared a retirement incentive with employees that will be the beginning of an overall reduction in force in the months ahead. Details of the incentives were shared at a meeting Thursday, Sept. 30.
There are 258 people serving on NAMB’s staff in Alpharetta.
“There are a lot of changes and some things coming down the road. I don’t know what all of those are,” Ezell told the NAMB staff at the mission board’s offices in Alpharetta, Ga. “Knowing that there are changes coming and not knowing who exactly that would involve, we wanted to offer an incentive to those who might already be thinking about retirement.”
Ezell said it was important to announce the incentive at this time in order to coincide with a significant change GuideStone Financial Resources has announced in its annuity funding rate beginning Jan. 1, 2011. GuideStone is reducing the floor funding for its lifetime annuity payments from the current 6 percent to prevailing industry rates.
Ezell described the incentive as “the first phase” in what will be a series of staff changes coming to NAMB.
“Is this it? No,” he said. “We don’t know the extent as to what will happen, but we do know that this will be the first phase. That’s why we want you to at least look and see.”
Under the plan, staff who are age 55 and older will be credited additional years of service in order to qualify for health insurance benefits. Additionally, a retirement incentive bonus will be paid, based on years of service.
No number was mentioned for how many of the 258 staff are 55 years of age or older and eligible for this plan. However, information was offered that there are 34 direct-paid missionaries who serve throughout North America who are eligible for the incentive.
Those taking advantage of the plan will need to retire by Dec. 31, 2010.
“To be sure, we are being very clear — this is the very best incentive we could come up with,” Ezell said. “It’s the best option that will be available.”
Ezell compared the changes coming to NAMB to a company that had been making washing machines and now will be making cars.
“There is going to be considerable change,” Ezell said. “A lot of the changes will not be directed to competency of people because we are going to be doing some things so drastically different. What does that look like specifically, I don’t know yet. But we are working on that as fast as we can.”
Reported by the communications staff of the North American Mission Board. For information about GuideStone Financial Resources’ annuity funding rate, go to www.guidestoneretirement.org/FormsandFAQs/FAQs/Annuity%20Funding%20Rate.aspx.