NORTHRIDGE, Calif., April 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About March 22, 2022, a retired pastor and AME Church elder has filed a class action lawsuit challenging the management and debilitating financial losses of the church-sponsored pension plan, called the African Methodist Episcopal Church Ministerial Retirement Annuity Plan . The case alleges that the Church and other defendants breached their obligations under federal and state law, resulting in losses of more than $90 million and the illegal freezing of retirement benefits earned by clergy and other Church employees.
Due to the reckless and extraordinarily risky investments of the Church and other defendants in a now defunct venture capital firm, a promissory note to one Illinois installer of solar panels, and the purchase of undeveloped land in FloridaThe defendants unlawfully cut pension benefits for clergy and other employees by 70% and blocked most retirees from receiving a portion of their retirement savings.
The plan also requires the church to enroll all bishops, general officers, quorum presidents, deans of theological seminaries, and traveling elders, and fund their pensions through church-paid contributions of 12 percent of each participant’s annual salary. to plan. The lawsuit claims the Church failed to keep its promises.
The lawsuit seeks, among other things, an order that the Church and other defendants (1) register and pay dues of 12% of salary to all eligible clergy and other employees, (2) restore benefits at the level indicated on the account statements provided to plan participants in 2021, and (3) promptly pay retired participants all pension benefits due to them.
If you are a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Minister’s Pension Plan or believe you qualify for benefits under the Plan, you may be affected by this lawsuit. If you would like to know more about this lawsuit, please contact Amy Harrison from Kantor & Kantor LLP to [email protected] or (818) 350-6031.
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