Global Methodist Retirement: Benefits Access Walkthrough

Over three thousand pastors have joined the Global Methodist denomination over the last 15 months. Wow! The Global Methodists have partnered with Wespath who also serves the African Methodist Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church. Some might ask, why partner with Wespath? Aren’t they on the “Other Side?” Here’s my quick response:

  • Not New for Wespath: About a decade ago, Wespath rebranded themselves from the General Board of Pension & Health Benefits. Part of the reason is they wanted to position themselves to serve Methodist-related denominations. Before the Global Methodists, Wespath started serving the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. That experience helped prepare Wespath for starting to serve the Global Methodists.
  • Fiduciary Excellence: Back in 2008, I started working with Wespath through my role as a conference treasurer. The big debate at that time was about divesting from Caterpillar for political reasons. I remember Wespath taking a hard stand that their investment decisions would not be made at the whims of political or social trends. They would focus on making the most money for retirees while not investing in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and pornography. I’ve compared Wespath’s returns to other large investment managers and have never been disappointed.
  • Ease of Transition: If the Global Methodist would have wanted to work with someone else, it would have taken much longer to get benefits setup. How much longer? Maybe a year or more. Wespath already has the information for many of the Global Methodist pastors which makes the enrollment process quicker and with less paperwork.
  • Existing Relationship: This transition has not been easy! That’s an understatement. It is great going through this with people who know you and are really going above and beyond to make it work. We (the Global Methodist benefits team) meet with Wespath each week as we work through this transition.

In the video, I give a quick walkthrough of how to view your Global Methodist retirement benefits online. I also show quickly where you would go to make changes or request a loan or withdrawal. As pastors view their account online, you might not see all your contributions. Here’s the reason for that:

  • Built-in Delay: The amount a pastor has withheld from the paycheck as well as the church’s share are posted the following month. It takes time for the money to go from your church to the Global Methodists to Wespath to the pastor’s account.
  • Catching Up: With the rapid growth of the denomination, enrolling pastors is the highest priority. I was brought in in July to help setup systems to help things run like clockwork. With that said, I just finished a thorough review of the retirement contributions. All accounts will be caught up by next Friday through the month of June. July will be posted soon after (Built-in Delay).
  • Bill not being Paid: Part of how the billing system was setup was to create the bill in the pastor’s name. The bill often went to the pastor’s email address. A lot of pastors and churches have recently had to change their email addresses. The money isn’t posted to the pastor’s retirement account if it is not sent in. If the pastor isn’t seeing contributions posted to their account, first ask if the church has been receiving and paying those bills.

Thank you for your patience and, more importantly, prayers during this time of transition.

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