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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Pension fight fueled move

Ironically, in forming a new synod that could receive their pension accumulations, the Basiches appear to be following the suggestion of ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson.

In an April 13, 1996, letter to Basich, Anderson suggested a way that Basich and other plaintiffs in court suits against the ELCA might obtain the money that has accumulated in their pension accounts.

Basich and 48 other plaintiffs had unsuccessfully sued the Board of Pensions for their pension account balances because of alleged social investing by the board.

In the past, Anderson noted in the letter released by Basich, "the Board of Pensions has transferred the entire account balances of individuals who have transferred membership to another Lutheran church body that has a defined contribution pension plan which has reciprocity with the ELCA pension plan.

"Any of the plaintiffs could establish a new Lutheran church body for this purpose. ... While this approach does have some practical difficulties, it also has some unique opportunities. I am willing to explore this option with you."


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