Vol. XXI, Issue 11

March 10, 2022

General Conference Postponement

Wespath respects the recent decision by the Commission on General Conference to postpone the 2020 General Conference until 2024. Wespath strives to be a bridge-building, non-anxious presence in the midst of change. Our focus is on continuity of benefits for those who serve and investment management for Methodist-related entities.

Under The Book of Discipline, Wespath is permitted to administer benefit plans and manage funds for churches that disaffiliate from the UMC. Since before the 2019 Commission on a Way Forward work, Wespath has been in dialogue with all major caucus groups envisioning various scenarios for UMC restructure or disaffiliation—across the full spectrum of perspectives. We are continuing those dialogues.

We are in the process of updating FAQs related to disaffiliation and will share more information at the Conference Forum (March 17-18). If you haven't yet registered for the Conference Forum or HealthFlex Mini-Summit, please register here.

Special Event for Clergy

Please help us spread the word about "Delivered to You" to your active clergy. Click here for an advertisement to include with your meeting and virtual event presentations. We’ve also provided the verbiage below for your newsletters and/or webpages.

Register for "Delivered to You" by April 8

Wespath is excited to bring you the 4th "Delivered to You" virtual benefits event on April 25 and 26, 2022. "Delivered to You" will share information on your benefits—retirement, savings and welfare plans—as well as tips for improving your physical, emotional, social and financial health. This event provides the best of Clergy Benefits Academy, revitup! and Wespath Benefits and Investments in the comfort of your home or convenience of your workspace. The registration fee is only $59, which includes a care package containing fun and useful items for full participation. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m., Central time, both days. On April 26, there will be optional breakout opportunities beginning at 11:00 a.m. Central time. All active clergy members of The United Methodist Church are invited to attend this inspirational and informative event! Click here to register. Learn more about the event here.

UMPIP Quarterly Webinars for Participants

The Wespath Benefits Education Team sent out an eblast inviting all eligible participants to register for the first session of the 2022 United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) webinar series on March 23 at 1:00-1:45 p.m., Central time. This session will provide an overview of UMPIP, including exploring contribution matching, tax benefits and more. Throughout the year, the team will provide detailed information about saving for retirement and insight into what UMPIP can do for participants. After the first session, participants will be able to "weigh" in on topics for upcoming sessions so they can learn about what matters most to them.

Comment from the CIO: What Does a Ban on Russian Oil Mean for Markets?

Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner comments on the U.S. ban of Russian oil imports. What implications does it have for the global economy and markets? Read more.

February Monthly Investment Report and Markets at a Glance Video: Now Live!

Read our full market and fund performance commentary in the February 2022 Monthly Investment Report. In addition, Fred Huang, senior investment analyst, provides a video update on the markets, including the repercussions of inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as a record decline in Facebook stock.

New Investment Insights Blog—How Alternative Investments Can Benefit Your Diversified Portfolio

The 60/40 equities/bonds strategy has evolved as investors increasingly seek out new ways to stronger long-term risk-adjusted returns. Enter, alternatives. Learn more about what these types of investments are and how they can diversify portfolios in our latest Investment Insights blog by Amy Bulger, director of private markets.

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