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Benefits reExamined

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Benefits are an investment in God’s ministry as carried out through the lives of rostered ministers and lay employees.

Now more than ever, as we navigate a changing world, the ELCA needs a benefit program that provides value and care for those who serve.

Through Benefits reExamined, Portico invites dialogue with the ELCA faith community to help discern and design potential benefit changes to continue to meet the evolving needs of this church.

Change brings both uncertainty and possibility. As this work unfolds, we strive to understand and examine all needs — faithfully, objectively, and collaboratively. Watch for more information about how to contribute and follow our progress.

Guiding Principles

Today’s ELCA benefit program is rooted in principles expressed through the ELCA Philosophy of Benefits and Wholeness Wheel.

  • Community — Pooled purchasing power achieves discounted group rates, access to better providers and programs, and administrative efficiency. Costs are shared through a community pricing structure that takes into account family size, geographic location, compensation, and age.
  • Uniformity — A consistent benefits package across the church facilitates the call process by freeing rostered ministers to serve where called.
  • Wholeness — Benefits strengthen whole-person well-being, provide a bundle of comprehensive protection, and offer choice to help care for a spectrum of needs over a member’s lifetime.

Why Benefits reExamined?

Your input over the years has helped Portico adapt ELCA benefits to serve plan members and organizations well. We are committed to preserving valued benefit features as we explore calls for greater affordability and flexibility, stemming from growing trends.

Rising health care costs

  • Perennially outpaces inflation
  • Affects households and congregations

Declining church attendance

  • Lower financial giving
  • Difficult ministry decisions

Shrinking membership pool

  • Less purchasing power
  • Health claims increase with age

Changing ELCA workforce

  • Pastoral vacancies
  • Lay and bi-vocational leaders

Timeline: What to Expect

Your input is important. Watch for survey opportunities in June – July.

Benefits reExamined Project Team

A team of Portico and ELCA leaders has been formed to lead this initiative and help keep stakeholders informed of progress.

  • The Rev. James Dunlop, Bishop, Lower Susquehanna Synod
  • Lori Fedyk, ELCA Treasurer
  • The Rev. Hans Becklin, Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, PA, and Portico Board of Trustees member
  • Stacy Kruse, Portico Interim President & CEO
  • Lindsey Holman, Portico Sr. Director of Products
  • The Rev. Tara Lynn, Portico Regional Representative and ELCA Church Council member
  • Kent Roepke, Portico Actuary