The Rev. David Anderson is retiring after more than a decade as the pension and health benefits officer for the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. His last day will be June 30, 2018.
“I will miss working with all the clergy of the South Carolina Annual Conference,” Rev. Anderson said. “Over the past 13 years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and appreciate the work of many people who have answered the call to ministry, and hopefully I have been able to help them a little as they live into their calling.
“I also will miss the staff of the Annual Conference. This team is now one of the most effective that I have been a part.”
During Rev. Anderson’s tenure, the conference Pension and Health Benefits Office has:
- Implemented fully direct billing, providing convenience for participants and cost savings for the conference.
- Offered two new pension plans since 2005.
- Migrated retiree health benefits to a new vendor.
- Moved from a traditional one-option health care plan to a six-choice plan, with optional dental and vision coverage to begin in 2018.
- Worked with the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits to address the conference’s post-retirement medical liability – reducing the unfunded liability from about $53 million in 2009 to being fully funded in the coming year.
Having a zero unfunded liability is “unheard of in today’s environment,” said Herman Lightsey, former chairperson of the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, who has known Rev. Anderson for four decades. “Rev. Anderson has truly served God and God’s church well.”
In 2015, Wespath Benefits and Investments recognized Rev. Anderson’s work with the Charles L. Calkins Award, presented each year to a conference benefits officer who has provided exceptional service in the administration of pension and health benefits within The United Methodist Church.
Such recognition doesn’t come as a surprise to Conference Treasurer Beth Westbury.
“David has a kind and compassionate heart, a willingness to go the extra mile for participants, a passion for benefits planning and administration, and a dedication to the United Methodist Church that goes beyond the South Carolina Conference,” Westbury said. “He has knowledge and experience that is unmatched, and he is a humble servant to the Lord.”
Valerie Brooks-Madden, chairperson of the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, described Rev. Anderson as “dedicated, loyal, competent, classic, a change agent and authentic.”
“David’s humble path started as a lay member on the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, then as a clergy member on the board and will end as conference benefits officer,” Brooks-Madden said. “He is a child of God, a devoted and loving husband, a great father – and an even better ‘Pop-Pop.’”
Former S.C. Conference Treasurer Tony Prestipino, who is now the treasurer of the Florida Conference, worked with Rev. Anderson for five years.
“David has been a great friend, colleague and teacher,” Prestipino said. “I always found him trying to work in the best interest of all parties involved, which often is a difficult task and is bound to make someone frustrated.
“He really helped to get the conference in a sustainable place. He knows the benefit programs so well that I could always, without hesitation, rely on his work. He really has done a lot of great work for the South Carolina Conference.”
Rev. Anderson summed up his thoughts about his ministry this way:
“In both my parish ministry and as conference benefits officer, I have been privileged to stand with those I serve in the sacred times of their lives when they need care and assistance – deaths, births, changes in appointments, retirements. Basically, I just have loved doing my job.”