Catholic Benefits Association Introduces MEP Aligned with Religious Investment Guidelines

According to Todd, a spokesperson for the Catholic Benefits Association, Catholic entities stand to gain from the forthcoming Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) due to the potential for economies of scale in pricing.

This arrangement not only facilitates cost efficiency but also minimizes fiduciary liability for participating organizations.

Todd further emphasized that embracing a MEP structure would relieve Catholic employers of administrative burdens, allowing them to concentrate on the core operations of their organizations instead of managing intricate retirement plans.

Notably, smaller Catholic businesses and organizations are expected to find significant value in adopting the MEP framework.

Adherence to Investment Principles:

The upcoming plan is designed to align seamlessly with the investment guidelines established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The USCCB’s 2021 Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines articulate five core investment principles for Catholics.

These principles revolve around safeguarding human life, promoting human dignity, enhancing the common good, pursuing economic justice, and preserving the global common home.

The guidelines underscore the importance of divesting from stocks that contradict these principles.

Ethical Divestment and Investment Focus:

The USCCB guidelines provide a comprehensive list of stocks that are recommended for divestment, encompassing areas such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, in vitro fertilization, transgender drugs, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, discrimination, human trafficking, contraception, pornography, commercial sexual exploitation, and activities promoting addictive materials or harmful habitual behaviors, including games of chance.

Conversely, the guidelines advocate for investments in stocks that align with environmental and social responsibility, affordable housing, climate change mitigation, fair labor standards, arms production reduction, and human rights.

Defending Religious Freedom:

In a statement, Doug Wilson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Benefits Association, highlighted the association’s commitment to defending religious freedom, particularly in an environment where such freedom faces growing challenges.

Wilson emphasized the role of the Catholic Benefits Association in supporting American Catholic employers, ensuring they can pursue their ministries and businesses in accordance with their faith.

This initiative reflects a broader commitment to aligning financial practices with religious values and ethical considerations within the Catholic community.

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