General Conference Update from Wespath’s General Secretary
As you well know, the world is in a very different place than it was two months ago. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that has shut down countries and continents. Social distancing and sheltering at home are new terms in the global vernacular. Investment markets are seeing new lows. We are living our lives and doing our work substantially differently—for how long we don't yet know. Although our employees are working remotely, they are fully equipped to assist you by phone or e-mail.
As I prepare for what may come next, you—Wespath's plan participants and beneficiaries—are foremost in my mind. Wespath remains committed to protecting your benefits and the funding sources that are essential to assure benefits from Wespath are secured when you need them.
Our concerns have broadened beyond potential changes within The United Methodist Church. Even as we travel through this unprecedented time, let me assure you: Wespath has weathered challenges and market volatility over the course of 112 years. We will do so through these current challenges as well. Whether in the Church or in our world, Wespath stands as a calm, non-anxious servant amid uncertainty.
We must wait longer than planned for General Conference decisions about UMC benefit plans and Church structure. Yet, our focus remains on protecting your benefits long into the future. As your faithful steward, Wespath has been preparing for an array of scenarios that might unfold as the Church contemplates its future. While we cannot eliminate all risks, we have actively engaged the stakeholders negotiating the Church's future in order to mitigate risks to pensions and benefits as best we can. Wespath also has flexibility to serve new expressions of Methodism that might emerge.
It is my sincere hope that by the time you read this in print or online, we will have begun to "flatten the curve" of the COVID-19 outbreak around the world.
I am keeping each of you in my prayers during this difficult time. May God bless you.
Yours in service,
Barbara A. Boigegrain
Wespath Benefits and Investments