Philly Archdiocese to Freeze Retirement Plans of Lay Employees

The Philadelphia Archdiocese will freeze the retirement plans of their lay employees in an effort to meet its obligations to all current and future retirees.

Officials say the Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be “frozen” effective June 30, 2014. The plan was established back in 1965 to assist Archdiocese employees in their retirement.

Due to the freeze, the accrued pension benefit of lay employees won’t increase with additional service to the Archdiocese or increase in their pay after the freeze date.

According to officials, the Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan was underfunded by approximately $150 million as of June 30, 2012.

“While the funding level is sufficient to meet the current benefit payments, action must be taken to
ensure that the Plan can meet its obligations to future retirees,” wrote an Archdiocese spokesperson. “The Archdiocese has determined that it cannot financially support the pension program as it is currently structured.”

Archdiocese officials say that freezing retirement plans will protect pension benefits to their current and former employees. The Archdiocese will move to a retirement plan structure which they claim they will be able to “support into the future in order to honor its commitment to assist employees in retirement.”

Officials say the pension benefits for employees will be determined as of the freeze date on June 30, 2014. They also say the amount will remain unchanged regardless of future pay increases or length of service. They also claim employees won’t lose any of their existing benefits and that they will continue to earn pension benefits between now and the freeze date.

There are approximately 8,500 active Archdiocese employees who are currently accruing benefits in the Lay Employees Retirement Plan. Archdiocese officials also say approximately 4700 retirees are receiving retirement benefits while, 350 former employees are vested and entitled to benefits from the plan.

Click on the documents embedded to the left for more information on the freeze.

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