The Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church will live in God’s grace and abundance
as we lead a re-energized peaceful and compassionate movement to claim
the life-changing love of Jesus Christ for ALL people.
Conference's increase in cash balance from 2001 to 2016 explained
August 21, 2017
Submitted by Noreen Keleshian and Kirsten Barlow
Rocky Mountain Conference
At the 2017 Rocky Mountain Annual Conference session, it was noted that the balance of cash plus investments available to the Conference had increased significantly between 2001 and 2016. Per our audited financial statements, at the end of 2001 our cash balance was $1,559,576, and at the end of 2016 it was $12,619,180. The statements were prepared using the cash basis of accounting for all years. What accounts for this significant increase? Four types of funds: pension and health, designated and restricted, undesignated, and other amounts.
Pension and Health Funds
The 2001 statement included $687,774 in pension and health funds. This did not include an additional $138,894 that was designated to cover current and future pension obligations and invested through the General Board of Pensions. The amounts invested at the General Board were included in the audit beginning in 2003, when we were notified by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits that all past service pension obligations were fully funded.
The 2016 statement included $7,390,224 in pension and health funds. This included amounts invested through Wespath Benefits and Investments (formerly the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits) designated to cover current and future pension and health obligations. The increase from 2001 to 2016 is due to the reserves we have established to fund healthcare for retirees and to address market fluctuations that may affect the defined benefit pension plans.
Designated and Restricted Funds
The 2001 statement included $999,330 in designated and restricted funds held by the Conference. The 2016 statement includes $3,999,317 in designated and restricted funds. These are funds restricted by the donor for a specified purpose, carried forward for events and activities not covered by the annual budget, or set aside by the Conference Council on Finance and Administration as an operating reserve.
The 2001 statement showed a negative cash balance of ($151,045) in undesignated cash. The undesignated cash was $813,872 in the 2016 statement. This includes connectional giving and undesignated cash received from other sources that are used to cover the Conference annual budget.
The remaining $23,517 cash in the 2001 statement is property and liability insurance and a camp bond program. The remaining $415,767 in the 2016 statement is property and liability insurance and Buckhorn Camp.
If you have any questions about Rocky Mountain Conference finances or would like additional information, please ask Noreen Keleshian, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-325-7051. Rev. Kirsten Barlow serves as the chair of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration.