According to ¶ 357 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, elective clergy retirement is classified as either mandatory or voluntary. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
Contact Wespath Benefits & Investments at 1-800-851-2201 for clarification of retirement eligibility.
Submit your retirement request in writing to Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey (Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, 527 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70802) by at least 120 days before retirement or by February 1, if retiring at Annual Conference. This is to allow sufficient time for Cabinet/BOM approval, and for notifying Wespath Benefits and Investments of your intent to retire. Retirement requests can be approved with less than 120 days notice at the discretion of the Bishop and Cabinet; however, there may be a delay in receiving retirement benefits.
Your retirement letter needs to include:
a. Your requested retirement date. This should be the first day of the month in which your retirement goes into
effect. If you are retiring at Annual Conference, your retirement effective date will be July 1.
b. Your actual signature.
Mail or email a copy of your retirement request letter to each of the following:
Your District Superintendent
527 North Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Rev. Frances Hooton
BOM Conference Relations
106 Chantilly Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71291
Rev. John Edd Harper
Louisiana Conference of the UMC
527 North Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA email@example.com
Once retirement eligibility has been verified and the retirement request approved by the Cabinet, the Louisiana Conference Benefits Office will notify Wespath, pending final approval by the Board of Ordained Ministry.
Wespath will send the prospective retiree a retirement kit with pension benefits information and the next steps for retirement application.
The prospective retiree will receive information from the Louisiana Conference Benefits Office regarding retiree health options through Via Benefits. You will need to enroll in Medicare. If you are over 65 years of age when applying, you may need to send forms provided by the Social Security Office to the Louisiana Conference Benefits Office to verify that you had credible medical coverage previously, so that you do not have to pay a higher Medicare premium.
In the spring, the prospective retiree will receive an email from the Louisiana Conference Benefits Office with information regarding retiree videos, the retiree luncheon, the Celebration of Ministry Service at Annual Conference, moving benefits, and the Health Savings Account.