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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Pension board stays the course

The ELCA Board of Pensions trustees at their Oct. 30-Nov. 2 meeting in Minneapolis discussed the current economic situation and health-care issues.

About pension investments, board head John G. Kapanke said: “It’s very important to keep our bearing ... to stay the course.” He said the board always has taken a diversified, disciplined approach. Kapanke cited the past 20 years as an example, when on at least seven occasions the markets suffered significant losses. “Our disciplined approach always worked ... and I’m confident it will work again,” he said.

In an October letter to plan members and in newsletters, Kapanke urged people to be cautious of fear. He said in one newsletter: “Fear in the markets not only challenges long-term investment strategies, it can also cause anxiety for individuals—leading to investment allocations that might diminish long-term results.”

Trustees approved a $73.9 million budget for 2009—with several moves to hold down costs, including no merit increases for leadership, reduced synod assembly and bishop visits for 2009, and deferred hiring.


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