The Assembly authorise the Finance, Law and Advisory Committee to arrange for the following changes to the Pension Schemes to be incorporated into the new Schemes currently being drafted by the Church’s professional advisers.
1. The Disability Pension should be based on prospective service. The old provisions will continue as an alternative for those in service prior to 21st May 1980.
2. The present Death-in-Service benefit while in receipt of Disability Pension is to be revoked. In its place the Scheme will permit commutation, similar to the provision on normal retirement.
3. Early retirement with pension after age 55 should be permitted on the following bases:
(a) In connection with any scheme approved by a presbytery and subsequently by the Assembly, for the betterment of the work in a congregation: such benefit will be discretionary and will be based on actual years of service with no reduction for extra years of pension payment.
(b) At employee’s discretion but subject to an actuarial reduction to take account of extra years of pension payment.
4. (a) A discretionary pension equivalent to one half of the member’s pension or prospective pension at normal retirement (calculated on 40 year Scheme) and taking into account the benefit payable under the Churches and Universities Widows’ and Orphans Fund should be payable to a widow, but terminable on her remarriage.
(b) Similarly, an orphan’s pension would be payable at one quarter of the rate of the widow’s pension up to the legal maximum of four children per family. In the event of the widow’s death, such orphans’ benefits would be doubled.
5. As required by the law, the rules regarding calculation of commutation have been changed for those whose service started after 16th March 1987.
6. As required by the law, each Scheme must incorporate provisions to credit service to females during time off on maternity leave.
8. The General Assembly direct that in terms of Act of Commission IV, March 1982 (regulation 1 in both Pension Schemes) employees of the Church who work under the direction of the Asian Outreach Committee or any successor thereof, or the Committee on Church Extension or any successor thereof, and who otherwise come within the definition of those covered by the Pension Scheme for Ministers, etc. (i.e. full-time, permanent, etc.) are covered by the Scheme and are entitled to its benefits. Likewise any employee of the Publications Department who otherwise comes within the definition of those covered by the Offices Scheme is entitled to the benefits of that Scheme.
The Finance Committee is empowered to implement the changes to the Pension Scheme approved by the Assembly at whatever date may be judged appropriate, bearing in mind professional advice and the requirement for Inland Revenue approval.