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Decision No. 14

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December 07 1943
In Re: Appeal of Board of Missions and Church Extension on Question of Responsibility of Pension of D. W. Nichols, et al.

Digest of Case

Under the provisions of Paragraph 1330, Discipline 1940, no liability rests on the Annual Conference of which the claimant was a member on retirement, for the years of service of such claimant which he served in a Mission Conference

Statement of Facts

At the June, 1943, session of the Southern California-Arizona Annual Conference of The Methodist Church, a report was submitted by the Board of Conference Claimants and adopted by the Annual Conference, reading as follows: Board of Conference Claimants of the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-ARIZONA CONFERENCE THE METHODIST CHURCH 125 East Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. Be It Resolved, That the Board of Pensions of The Methodist Church be requested to exclude from its Clearinghouse procedure, beginning June 1, 1943, and charge to the Division of Foreign Missions of The Board of Missions and Church Extension of The Methodist Church the following years spent in Foreign Missionary services: D. W. Nichols from 1888 to 1904 inclusive, a total of 16 years. Charles A. Kent from 1912 to 1915 inclusive, a total of 4 years. Stacy A. Smith from 1890 to 1892 inclusive, a total of 3 years. Thereafter, action was taken by the Division of Foreign Missions of the Board of Missions and Church Extension of The Methodist Church, as follows: REQUEST FOR RULING Appeal to Judicial Council by Board of Missions and Church Extension It was reported that the Southern California-Arizona Conference had recently refused to continue to pay pensions for certain years of service given by Rev. D. W. Nichols under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Division of Foreign Missions is now asked to assume responsibility for those years. It was VOTED that the Division of Foreign Missions refuse to accept responsibility for the pension of Rev. D. W. Nichols for the years he served the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church from December 26, 1887, to September 1, 1904, hitherto paid for by the Southern California-Arizona Conference, and that the Executive Secretary prepare an appeal to the Judicial Council on whether or not Paragraph 959 in the Discipline of 1936 is retroactive for those who had already retired and had been receiving pensions. The Board of Missions and Church Extension of The Methodist Church in session at Buck Hill Falls Inn, having adopted such appeal and made it an appeal of a General Conference Board, the matter is now properly before the Judicial Council for determination.

Decision

In the opinion of the Judicial Council, the law now in force relating to divided annuities is set forth in Paragraph 1330 of the 1940 Discipline, the first clause of which reads as follows: 1. The responsibility for annuity for the approved years of service of a Conference Claimant shall rest with the Annual Conference in which the service was performed, or its legal successor; etc. It is further the opinion of the Council that such law is retroactive, and does apply to those who had already retired and had been drawing pensions when same was enacted. Since the service rendered by D. W. Nichols from 1888 to 1904 was in a Mission Conference and not in the Southern California-Arizona Conference or its predecessor Conference in the United States, no liability rests upon the Southern California-Arizona Conference for annuity payments to D. W. Nichols on such years of service in such Mission Conference. Walter C. Buckner, a member of the Judicial Council, being also a member of the Southern California-Arizona Conference, did not participate in the decision herein set forth.

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