Wespath Benefits and Investments is the new name for the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits—it invokes John Wesley, and indicates a path to follow for financial success for those we serve. While our name has changed over the years, our commitment to helping participants achieve their retirement objectives through products and services aligned with the principles of the UMC has remained the same.
What’s in a Name
Over the course of our 108 years of service, the scope of our mission evolved and our name evolved with it, expressing the nature of our work. Our name has always described our service role and responsibility, as an administrative agency of The United Methodist Church.
1908—Board of Conference Claimants
1924—Board of Pensions and Relief
1944—Board of Pensions of The Methodist Church
1956—General Board of Pensions
1992—General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church
2016—Wespath Benefits and Investments
And as our role evolved and expanded, our name became increasingly longer and yet it still did not describe everything we do in service to the Church. So what’s missing? At approximately $20 billion in assets under management, we are the largest reporting denominational investor in the world—and among the top 100 of all U.S. pension funds. But our name did not reflect the investment management aspect of our work.
In 2015, we received approval from our board of directors to rename the agency, effective in July 2016. The transition will continue throughout 2017, until you see our new name reflected on everything we develop and release.
As we considered the options we had to simplify the agency name and include the investments aspect of our work, the name “Wespath” was the logical choice.
Wespath—symbol and symbolism
We developed the name Wespath in 2010 as the brand for the investments division as they began to reach outside our normal sphere of conference contacts to increase assets under management.
The name was created with two important elements in mind:
Wes—recognizes and honors John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and a strong advocate for social justice;
Path—refers to our goal of providing participants and institutional clients with a path to follow in achieving retirement, health and investment objectives.
While the name Wespath honors Wesley, it also implies the other Wesleyan theological tenets—the importance of physical health, financial security and caring for God’s creation. Wespath reflects our Wesleyan heritage, and the notion of being on the right path in all three areas in which we operate for our participants, institutional investors and for the UMC. The name Wespath has already achieved name recognition across the UMC through the many UMC-affiliated organizations among our institutional investment clients.
The name Wespath is used with our long-standing agency symbol, which embeds the UMC Cross and Flame—continuing to connect us with the Church. Two simply stated words beneath it, identify the nature of our work: “Benefits and Investments.”
Our three agency divisions will also reflect the new agency name:
Wespath—Center for Health
path to retirement and financial security
path to personal and missional vitality
path to achieving investment objectives
Caring for those who serve since 1908 continues as our tagline, capturing our mission and reflecting our long history in service to UMC clergy and lay workers and our institutional investors.
For more information about our new agency name, contact us at 1-800-851-2201.