Circuit Overseer Pensions and the Implications

by AlanF 29 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DannyHaszard

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  • coffee_black

    This is a big change... My Uncle was Zone servant in Alaska in the early 60s. He and my aunt lived above the kh/branch office there. He died of a massive stroke. My aunt had 2 weeks to vacate the apartment, for his replacement, and was on her own to find a way back home (Massachusetts) No benifits...nothing. Stranded. Good she had family to help, because the society did nothing.


  • undercover

    Could this kind of arrangement, if true and made public, give credence to some of the lawsuits we're hearing about where Bethel members are suing the WTS after sustaining injuries while "on the job"? Just a thought.

  • sir82

    Pension plan?!?!?!

    Wait a minute, Armageddon is coming "very soon now", isn't it? Why would anyone need a pension plan?

    I'd love to know more details about this, if possible.

    What are the payments to be? Will it be an annuity or a lump sum? Does it apply to current COs only, or will already retired COs get a benefit too? Will credit for "past service" be given, or will it be credited only from a certain date forward? (Our current CO has been "serving" as one for 50 years - if he can now retire and get a hefty sum for all those years, that may prompt him to retire).

    What about medical expenses - covered for retirees or not?

    If not, I wonder if this new arrangement is being made to, odd as it sounds, save money. While an active CO, the Society covers medical expenses. I can easily imagine that medical and prescription drug costs for a 70 or 80 year old CO would be huge, or at least the cost of an insurance policy for these guys would be quite large. Plus, if these guys have been "full time servants" for 40 - 50 - 60 years, they would have paid little or nothing into Social Security, thus may not be eligible for Medicare.

    It may be cheaper to just pay a few hundred bucks a month to a "retiree" than to continue to pay for his medical care.

  • garybuss

    I thought when the Witnesses started to build parsonages attached to Kingdom Halls they had gone mainstream.

  • metatron

    Perhaps this is an individual thing and not an official policy. I'd like to know more.


  • West70

    If this turns out to be factual, and it may very well be, then it was done for one reason:


    And, there are probably a variety of considerations.

    First, the WTS probably has noticed that they are facing a significant number of "retirements" in the near future.

    Second, the last thing the WTS needs is a bunch of disgruntled "insiders" who know where "all the bodies are buried" at the intermediary and rank-n-file levels.

    Always assume the WTS is looking out for its own rearend.

  • DannyHaszard
    I thought when the Witnesses started to build parsonages attached to Kingdom Halls they had gone mainstream.

    Good point,most Kingdom Halls in Massachusetts have an attached apartment generating rental income,some have TWO apartments.

    I can remember my hard core JW elder pioneer dad say (early-mid 1960's) how that when the 'radical elements of the united nations come to destroy babylon the great they will be able to find the priest to slaughter and the nuns to rape because they live in their churches'.-Danny Haszard

  • metatron

    If true, liability is another factor. Maybe they figured that C.O.'s would end up being considered by courts as employees anyway, so

    they realized that they need to take care of them ( or else). Being a C.O. is such a horrid way of life, especially for wives, that I can't

    imagine why anyone would do it.

    Amazing how Jehovah's organization makes spiritual progress when Caesar is breathing down their necks.

    Maybe if this rumor pans out we should make a mass mailing to elders telling them they are being ordered around by Jehovah's

    new PAID CLERGY!


  • james_woods

    As an aside to the pension (& remembered due to the mention of the parsonages)_

    When I was around it back in the 65 through 80 time frame, practically every one of these guys that I knew (maybe 20 in total) had some kind of travel trailer and a buick, olds or caddy to pull it. They were actually living in pretty good style for the time. And, the green handshake was in fact alive and well back then. (along with the special dinner parties, etc.) I do remember a little controversy over whether they really should have these travel trailers, though.

    But, this thread being really about what happened after they got too old to be of any benefit to the WTS; and I never really saw one retire. However, there was a weird rumor among some of the C.O.s that I could talk too that the circuits were given out partly according to political favor; for example - Tulsa or Oklahoma City GOOD; anyplace in SE or SW Oklahoma (little Dixie) BAD. Actually, the older C.O.s seemed to sort of gravitate toward being "sent out to the farms"...maybe it was a way to take them off the scene slowly.

    And in a final thought - we actually had a C.O. when I was just a young guy who got disfellowshipped while he was right in the middle of our weekly visit. He told the elders (or more correctly the committee servants) that he had to go back to his former circuit in Missouri for a special committee action. We didn't know that the accused was HIM!!! Anyway, trouble came from a young pioneer sister who spent a little too much time in field service alone with the guy.

    But my point here was that he did not get put out of his circuit very much worse than all the old faithful servants and wifes who just got old!

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