The conference Council on Finance and Administration approved an $11.5 million budget plan for 2011, which will be forwarded to the 2010 Annual Conference session for action.
The budget plan provides a plan to fund an additional $2.9 million in payments to the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits due to the downturn in the economic markets in 2008 and early 2009. The $2.9 million in additional payment is over and above the $3.2 million already paid annually for pensions.
At the same time, CFA members balanced the interest of keeping the cost to the local churches at or near 2010 levels.
In order to address the $2.9 million shortfall, the conference will take advantage of a “holiday” being offered by the General Board of Pensions for payments on clergy and spouse death and disability insurance. The holiday is possible due to the overfunding of the plan. The General Board is foregoing billing the conference for years 2010, 2011 and 2012. The spending plan calls for using two years of the holiday in 2011 for $1.6 million of savings that can be reallocated to address the crisis.
Another $258,189 will be realized through an increase in the CRSP defined benefit portion which will increase to $7,260 for a full-time pastor – up from the current $6,720. Churches served by part-time pastors would be proportional with churches with half-time pastors receiving an increase of half the full-time increase.
In an effort to hold churches harmless, CFA’s budget is $276,813 less than the 2010 budget, so while the direct bill increases for local churches, there will be a corresponding decrease in apportionments.
Among the budget cuts being recommended:
• $100,000 for the SA&E/District Mission Fund. This increase was added to the budget in 2010 as transitional funds to assist churches with the move to direct-bill of pension payments. It was never intended to be funded more than one year.
• $154,000 from Pastoral Care Office. By mutual agreement, the Pastoral Care office agreed to use existing reserve funds to operate the ministry in 2011
• $138,550 from Congregational Development. Congregational Development will be using existing reserves to fund parts of their budget for 2011.
• $78,887 from the Conference Benevolence budget, which includes decreases in support to health and welfare ministries, specialized ministries, higher education and campus ministries, and interdenominational ministries.
• $170,425 from the Equipping and Connecting Team budget, with cuts coming in camping and retreat ministries, leadership development and life cycle ministries.
Increases to the budget include areas in which contractual agreements, anticipated expenses or figures supplied by the denomination come into play:
• $55,543 in general church apportionments, which include World Service, Ministerial Education Fund, Africa University Fund, Black College Fund, Episcopal Fund, Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, Jurisdictional Conference Fund.
• $50,000 to establish a fund which will be used to host the 2016 Jurisdictional Conference. The last jurisdictional conference in Illinois was held in Peoria in 1968. The fund will be used to offset expense incurred by the hosting of the conference.
• $1,146 increase for Archives and History which is paid to MacMurray College on contract.
The remaining $806,800 will be drawn from the post-retirement benefit reserve fund, which currently has a $9 million balance but a projected liability of $44 million.