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At its Regular 2022 Fall Session, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Among the many issues discussed and decided, the Holy Synod considered the decision of the Metropolitan Council summarized in the Joint Statement with the Pension Board issued on our website on October 28.

As indicated in that joint statement, these decisions and resolutions were to be in effect only when confirmed by the Holy Synod.

After lengthy discussion, and after hearing the reports by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, Andrew Smith, Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America, and Matushka Mary Buletza-Breton, Chair of the Pension Board, and after receiving the report of the Metropolitan Council liaison to the Pension Board, David Lane, Esq., the Holy Synod confirmed the decisions regarding the increase in employer contribution and the budgetary line in support of administrative expenses:

a 2% increase of employer contributions for participants in the OCA Pension Plan effective January 1, 2023 (totaling 12%) and an additional 2% increase effective January 1, 2024 (totaling 14%), subject to review of parish compliance of participation in the OCA Pension Plan at the regular Fall 2023 Session of the Metropolitan Council.

To assist with the administrative costs of the Plan, the 2023 Budget approved by the Metropolitan Council includes a monthly contribution of $9,000 to share in the administrative costs.

During its Fall Session, the Holy Synod also appointed His Eminence Archbishop Daniel as the new Episcopal Liaison.

The Holy Synod also considered the resolution approved by the Metropolitan Council on a joint committee tasked with addressing compliance issues, as well as the plan for a joint retreat of the Metropolitan Council and Pension Board for an extensive review and a comprehensive assessment of the Pension Plan. In light of this, the Holy Synod decided to create a joint committee that is to look into matters regarding compliance, the plan status, and the future of the plan.

As the new Episcopal Liaison, Archbishop Daniel will lead the work of this committee. The membership of this joint committee will also include two other bishops, His Eminence Archbishop Mark and His Eminence Archbishop Michael.

Further, the committee will be made up of three members of the Metropolitan Council and three members of the Pension Board. Further, the Holy Synod insisted that this joint committee seek input from qualified experts from outside the Church as needed. Administrative and travel costs for this joint committee as well as the fees associated with the outside experts, will be borne by the Orthodox Church in America.

The Holy Synod asked for a presentation to the Metropolitan Council and the Holy Synod by their Regular Spring 2023 Sessions, which are scheduled for March 14 and 16 (Metropolitan Council via Zoom), and April 24-28 (Holy Synod).