Presbyterian Board of Pensions waives benefits dues in Puerto Rico

Financial relief will assist those working to serve others and rebuild

by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service

Light shines through the destroyed roof of Iglesia Presbiteriana Vega Alta west of San Jose, Puerto Rico. (Photo courtesy of Edwin González-Castillo)

LOUISVILLE — The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced today that it is waiving benefits plan dues for the three presbyteries and their churches in Puerto Rico. For now, the waiver period applies to dues owed September through December 2017 and will be reassessed at the close of the year.

Saying it “recogniz[es] that financial concerns are among the burdens our fellow church workers are bearing in Puerto Rico” following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September, the Board of Pensions says its decision to waive fees will not impact member benefits in any way. The waived dues will save Puerto Rico’s presbyteries and churches in excess of $88,000 during this initial period.

“The recovery work in Puerto Rico is far from complete,” said the Rev. Frank Spencer, Board of Pensions president. “If we can in any way lighten the financial burden on our presbyteries and congregations, we want to do so.”

Church workers in Puerto Rico are also encouraged to apply for Emergency Assistance Grants, provided through the Board of Pensions assistance program, which was specifically established to provide a safety net in situations where need exceeds resources.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is also on the scene, having committed over $100,000 to relief and assessment efforts. A PDA delegation will visit Puerto Rico later this month to continue its evaluation of the situation and begin formulating a long-term response.

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