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Iowa Board of Pensions withholds $51.9 million it should use for the Unfunded Pension Liability

Disaffiliating churches should owe zero in the amount charged for the Unfunded Pension Liability.

The Iowa Board of Pensions has determined it will withhold $51.9 million in funds it has externally invested from the calculation for the unfunded pension liability it is charging disaffiliating churches. These funds would offset the unfunded pension liability and would eliminate the entire amount disaffiliating churches pay.

In its report at the 2022 Iowa Annual Conference, The Board of Pensions presented its 2022 Comprehensive Benefit Funding Plan. Within that report, on pages 3 & 4, which can be found here, accounts held externally are detailed. Of the amounts listed on pages 3-4, only the "RETIREES MEDICAL BENEFIT RESER" does not apply to the unfunded pension liability.

These accounts, though most are invested at Wespath, are directly related to the pension liabilities of the Iowa Conference, but are not included in the Unfunded Pension Liability calculated by Wespath. When added to the Unfunded Pension Liability as provided by Wespath April 20,2022, the Unfunded Pension Liability would be completely funded.

Those account balances are as follows:

Iowa Board of Pensions Externally Held Funds:

Values as of 12/31/2020

BOP Operating

$ 14,805,528

Deposit Account

$ 311,894

Permanent Fund

$ 10,438,189

Retirees Benefit Fund

$ 24,072,399

Banker's Trust Checking

$ 2,256,298


$ 51,884,308

Unfunded Pension Liability for Disaffiliating Churches as of April 20,2022

$ (43,510,627)

New Fully FUNDED Pension Liability Including Externally held Iowa Board of Pension Funds.

$ 8,373,681

I am at a loss as to why the Iowa Board of Pensions is withholding these funds to offset the amount assessed to disaffiliating churches, especially as other Annual Conferences are using their external funds to offset the Unfunded Pension Liability.

For a more detailed explanation of the Unfunded Pension Liability, see the following presentation:

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