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WASHINGTON – Churches now have the ability to invest their staff pension plans in collective trusts. On Oct. 25, President Bush signed the Church Pension Plan Fairness Act, introduced by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). Church pension plans have the same investment opportunities as other pension plans except that securities laws prevented them from investing through collective trusts. Collective trusts allow pension plans to pool their assets to share risk and transaction costs with other plans. “For far too long, Congress has unintentionally failed to update church pension laws, making it more difficult for clergy and other church employees to maximize their retirement savings. This law is intended to correct these inequities,” Biggert said. “Giving church pension plans the ability to invest in collective trusts will put church employees on par with other hard working Americans investing for their retirements,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio). Evangelical Christian Credit Union and a number of other credit unions count churches among their member base.

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