Retirement in General

Clergy Retirement Eligibility

According to ¶ 357 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, elective clergy retirement is classified as either mandatory or voluntary. Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Mandatory Retirement:  Age 72 on or before July 1
  • Voluntary Retirement:
    1. With 20 years of service (see BOD ¶357.2a)
    2. With 30 years of service or at age 62 on or before July 1 (see BOD ¶357.2b)
    3. With 40 years of service or at age 65 on or before July 1 (see BOD ¶357.2c)

Contact Wespath Benefits & Investments at 1-800-851-2201 for clarification of retirement eligibility.

 

Clergy Retirement Process

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mail or email a copy of your retirement request letter to each of the following:

    • Your District Superintendent

    • Sandy O’Brien​
      Benefits
      Louisiana Conference 
      527 North Blvd.
      Baton Rouge, LA 70802
      Sobrien@la-umc.org

    • Rev. Frances Hooton
      BOM Conference Relations
      106 Chantilly Dr.
      West Monroe, LA 71291
      franhoot@gmail.com

    • Rev. John Edd Harper
      BOM Coordinator
      Louisiana Conference of the UMC
      527 North Blvd.
      Baton Rouge, LA 70802johneddharper@la-umc.org

  4. 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.

  5. Wespath will send the prospective retiree a retirement kit with pension benefits information and the next steps for retirement application. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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.