The 65% Restoration proposed by the Commission on Retirement Services is not acceptable. It borders insulting of justice and intelligence. The Commission on Statistics and Finance and AME, Inc. should not slow walk and overthink the obvious necessities for a just resolution to the AMEC Retirement crisis. The fix will be large, painful, and not loved by anyone. Let’s gird up our loins and DO IT!
Failure to consider the overpayment of benefits for the last 3 or more years was cavalier and irresponsible on the part of the Commission. It was shortsighted and regrettable on the part of the General Board as a whole seeming to go along. If the Fund was overvalued by as much as 70% for 3 or more years, those who retired or withdrew funds in that period received up to 70% more than than they were entitled. (70% of $4m times 3 is $8,400,000…do you not wonder what the actual figure is?) More egregious, those of us still in the program have lost some of “our” money in what was paid to the earlier groups of former participants. This looks to me like good, old fashioned mismanagement and negligence!
If the Commission wants a simple way to figure out how much the current participants are owed, I have one. Give us 100% of our June 2021 value. That puts us on par with the earlier withdrawals before we go into the new plan. That will avoid the costly, detailed calculations of loss and equity. Gather, the funds and commit to full restoration. Recover, Liquidate, and Re-allocate. Hard to swallow, not so difficult to figure.
Some questions to follow over the next few weeks:
Why 100% is the moral conclusion? How can the church gather the funds? Why should everyone share in the pain or restoration? How can we pay without raising assessments? Why is local church property not at risk? Why resorting to the legal system should be a last resort? What does it say about “our” church if “we” have to go to court to be heard, informed and justly restored? Can we avoid the tragedy of selling and/or the travesty of borrowing? Can the legacy pivot with both real estate and program? Can we really lose it all if we do not approach each other with love and reason?