United Methodist Publishing House Safeguards Pensions & Announces New Address
$84 million in defined benefit pension plans transferred to Wespath Benefits and Investments
October 4, 2021
For Immediate Release
Nashville, TN—The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) announced today that administration of the UMPH defined benefit pension plan will now be managed by Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath). UMPH also stated that it has established a home base for its ongoing operations located at 810 12th Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee.
UMPH has transferred assets of approximately $84 million to secure liabilities of $81 million as of October 4, 2021. Wespath is now responsible for administration of the closed plan, including monthly retirement payments to 500 plan participants.
“Wespath’s excellent track record in plan management and quality customer service secures the retirement benefits of hundreds of staff members for the decades ahead. We are grateful to Wespath for contributing their special expertise to serve the needs of retired and current employees,” said Rev. Brian K. Milford, UMPH president and publisher.
UMPH Plan participants have been notified of the administrative change and may obtain additional information by calling Wespath at 1-800-851-2201.
“Wespath has a long legacy of caring for those who serve The United Methodist Church. We are pleased we can support UMPH and their many employees, current and retired, who rely on these important pension benefits,” said Barbara Boigegrain, Wespath general secretary and chief executive officer.
UMPH, the publishing and retail distribution agency for The United Methodists Church, deployed its entire staff to remote work in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has proven to be effective and cost efficient.
A minimal office footprint with dedicated space for core information technology and financial services is now located in a building shared with United Methodist Communications (UMCom), another general agency of The United Methodist Church.
UMPH completed the sale of its New House Commons campus in Nashville on September 23. The property was purchased for $24.5 million by R2, a real estate investment firm. The proceeds are being used as part of the assets transferred today to Wespath.
UMPH’s fiscal year begins in August and ends in July. Preliminary yearend sales results for FY21 were $27,124,000. The agency expects to book an operating deficit of $2,955,000 for the fiscal year, a shortfall directly related to dramatic reductions in purchases for worship and Sunday school materials as local churches curtailed activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Wespath Benefits and Investments
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) is a not-for-profit agency that has been serving The United Methodist Church (UMC) for over a century. In accordance with its fiduciary duties, Wespath administers benefit plans and, together with its subsidiaries, including Wespath Institutional Investments, invests over $30 billion in assets on behalf of over 100,000 participants and over 130 United Methodist-affiliated institutions (as of August 31, 2021). Wespath funds invest in a sustainable manner that supports long-term value creation while having a positive impact on the environment and society and upholding the values of The UMC. Wespath maintains the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world. For additional information about Wespath Benefits and Investments, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About The United Methodist Publishing House
Founded in 1789 as the Methodist Book Concern, The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is a publisher and distributor of Christian resources for congregations, clergy, and lay leaders, with primary attention given to the needs of The United Methodist Church. UMPH is a fully self-supporting general agency of The United Methodist Church and receives no general church funds. Its primary publishing imprint is Abingdon Press (abingdonpress.com), and the retail and distribution operations are known as Cokesbury (cokesbury.com).