(PNS) The Board of Pensions (BOP) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has implemented a plan to consolidate member services, centralize oversight of third-party providers, and provide for “succession management” in key leadership positions.
“Stewardship — of people and financial resources — is so important,” BOP President and CEO Rob Maggs told the Presbyterian News Service (PNS) on Oct. 19. “It is critical to have strong management — the right people doing the right jobs.”
In his Oct. 13 weekly letter to board members and other church leaders, Maggs acknowledged that financial pressures were a factor in the reorganization. “We must keep our … annualized increases in budgets at about 3 percent or less,” he said, adding that the board’s operating costs will show a year-to-year decline in 2006.
The changes also reduced the BOP staff of 200 by about 10 percent by eliminating 10 vacant positions and laying off 12 employees. Maggs said the reorganization resulted in nine promotions of existing staff members.
In the new structure, member services for retirement and medical plans will be consolidated under Senior Vice President Margaret Mellen, who previously was responsible for only the medical plan.
A key element is oversight of third-party providers, another responsibility given to Mellen. “We really needed to centralize administration of our third-party providers,” Maggs said. “That work represents hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s (the providers’) job, but it’s our money, and we really have to be on top of it.”
The BOP’s service providers include Highmark (medical claims administration), Intracorp (case management), Express Scripts (prescription medications), CIGNA Behavioral Health (mental health and substance abuse) and Fidelity (retirement savings).
All board operations will be consolidated under Vice President Kelly Riley Brown, while member education and health promotion areas have been moved to the Communications Team and Director Karen Babik.
Funds development has been assigned to Peter Sime, vice president for assistance and retirement housing, two focuses of the BOP’s current fund-raising efforts.