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Pension Fund of the Christian Church president to retire

November 20, 2015

The president of the Indianapolis-based Pension Fund of the Christian Church, a 120-year-old organization that provides retirement plans for ministers and church employees, plans to step down next year after a dozen years in the position.

The not-for-profit announced Thursday that James P. Hamlett will retire Aug. 31 and pass the reins to the Rev. Todd A. Adams, who's been an associate general minister of the locally-based Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination since 2007. Hamlett joined the Pension Fund in 2001 and became president in 2004. Assets under management in the fund grew from $2.07 billion to $3 billion under his leadership.

"It has been my great honor to serve with extraordinary colleagues in this ministry to those who have accepted the call of Christian ministry," he said in written remarks. "Together we have sought to enhance the financial well-being of pastors, lay employees and retirees, holding firm to the Pension Fund's core values of trust, security and compassion."

The Pension Fund primarily serves employers—including missionaries, seminaries and religious universities—of the Christian Church denomination with retirement plans and health care benefits. It boasts about 1,400 employers, including self-employed pastors, and has about 13,000 members.

It also has several "Ministerial Relief and Assistance" programs, which grant retirement benefits for clergy men and women in need. Officials said it in 2014 it distributed more than $1.7 million to more than 500 ministers and their families through these programs.

Adams, who was tapped after a national successor search, will become vice president and president-elect of the Pension Fund March 1 and assume the president's role September 1. Hamlett said he brings "considerable management and financial skills, coupled with a strong commitment to ministry ... ."

Hamlett, who served in the Christian Church for more than 45 years, has been credited with restructuring various Pension Fund programs, implementing reserves, and launching IRAs and Roth IRAs, among other things. Under his watch, the Pension Fund weathered the recession with no reduction in pension benefits and no investment loss to any participant, church officials said.

Some of the Pension Fund's investments include OnTarget Laboratories LLC, a company developing cancer-imaging technology developed at Purdue University, and Endocyte Inc

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