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Portico Board of Trustees Approves Sixth Consecutive Annual Annuity Payment Increase

Nov. 05, 2017

Minneapolis — At its November meeting in Minneapolis, Portico’s board of trustees approved an increase in ELCA Participating Annuity Trust payments for 2018, its sixth increase in six years.

An increase for the coming year is possible when the ELCA Participating Annuity Trust’s Funded Ratio — Portico’s measurement of the health of the annuity — exceeds 1.0 as of Sept. 30. The increase amount is determined using an approved formula that distributes one-third of a Fund surplus to members, and retains the other two-thirds in the Fund for future annuity payments.

The following adjustments will take effect in January 2018, and were determined using the 1.119 Funded Ratio as of Sept. 30, 2017:

  • ELCA Participating Annuity payments will increase 4.0% (last year’s increase was 2.6%).
  • The ELCA Participating Annuity bridge account interest-crediting rate will be 8.7%, up from 7.2% in 2017.
  • Dividend-eligible payments will remain at their 2017 levels, and a lump-sum cash dividend of 20.8% will be paid out in January 2018, up from 13.1% in 2017.

Annuity payments can be adjusted up, held steady, or adjusted down for the coming year, depending on both the investment performance and mortality experience of the Investment Fund. Curt Fee, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Portico Benefit Services, attributed next year’s annuity payment increases primarily to strong ELCA Participating Annuity Fund investment performance. “Recent and long-term investment results have contributed to annuity payment increases for the coming year,” said Fee. “Our annuitants have benefitted from the Fund’s broad diversification of investments as well as successful portfolio management."

Those with questions about ELCA Participating Annuity Trust payment adjustments can contact the Portico Customer Care Center at 800.352.2876 or via email at

About the ELCA Participating Annuity

The ELCA Participating Annuity provides monthly annuity payments for life to participating ELCA plan members. ELCA Participating Annuity assets are adjusted based on the investment performance and mortality experience of the Investment Fund. The assets are held in trust and are separate from other Portico assets. The ELCA Participating Annuity trust does not rely on future cash flows to pay current benefits, so annuitants are not dependent on active members to fund their annuity payments.

Learn more about the ELCA Participating Annuity

About Portico Benefit Services

Portico Benefit Services provides health, retirement, disability, and survivor benefits and related services for approximately 50,000 active and retired ELCA pastors, rostered laypersons, lay employees, and their families.