Update from the Pension Boards

March 31, 2020

Dear Friends,

In the midst of all that is going on in our world, we pray that this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

The Pension Boards is now in its third week of working remotely as we endeavor to do our part in containing the spread of COVID-19. The collective effort of the entire Pension Boards staff allows us to continue our business operations without interruption, toward our primary goal and commitment of serving you. Staff will continue to work remotely, and we anticipate no changes to the way we have been functioning over the past weeks. At this time, we cannot say for certain when our physical office space will reopen. Any new directives issued by state and local authorities may require us to reevaluate the length of the closure. We will keep you apprised if and when circumstances change.

We will also continue to update you weekly – or more frequently, as needed – and encourage you to be in touch with us at 1.800.642.6543 if you have any questions or need assistance. The entire staff joins me in expressing thanks for your ministry, and for your trust in us.

Wishing you peace and good health,

Brian R. Bodager
President/CEO



A Message from Rev. Jim Moos, Executive Director, Faith and Finance Ministries

UCC Moos Jim National Officer posts

The coronavirus pandemic and the economy are moving in opposite directions: as the virus spreads, the economy contracts. Only when the virus is contained and lockdowns abate can we work our way back to economic growth. There is, however, another understanding of economics that is already guiding us in hope-filled directions.

Our word “economy” comes from a Greek term meaning “household management.” In its original usage, being “economical” meant ensuring that the needs of all household members were provided for in an equitable manner. This applied to both individual households and the collective community of households. Such an economic understanding is consistent with the Pension Boards’ vision of providing “benefits and services from the intersection of faith and finance.” Click here to continue reading.




Benefit Payments

Please continue to mail your monthly invoices and checks directly to our bank, Northern Trust, 75 Remittance Drive, Suite 1592, Chicago, Illinois 60675-1592. Do not send payments to the Pension Boards offices.

The following instructions are provided for making pension contributions and/or health premium payments by ACH and/or wire transfer:

The Northern Trust Company
Attn.: Master Trust Cash Processing Account # 5186061000
50 South LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60603
Reference: 26-97825, The Pension Boards - United Church of Christ, Inc.
ABA# 07 1000 152

Please contact Jorge Ortiz, Director of Finance, at 212.729.2680 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or concerns.

Should you need to mail any forms or correspondence related to your benefits, you may email a scanned copy of your document to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax it to 212.729.2701. This will ensure that your correspondence arrives more quickly, avoiding any delays that may occur with postal mail.



Health Plans

Please be assured that all your UCC coverage (health, pharmacy, dental, and vision benefits) remains in place, with no discontinuation or interruption in service.

The following online resources are available to you:

  • Teladoc (24/7 access to virtual medical visits) is available to all UCC Medical Plan participants. The customary $10 copay for this service is being waived during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here or call Teladoc at 1.800.835.2362. Download the Teladoc app for your mobile device from the App Store (Apple iOS) or Google Play (Android).
  • Take steps to protect yourself by getting your medication delivered right to your home. Learn more at the new Member Resource Center, now available from Express Scripts, the Plan’s pharmacy benefit provider. Express Scripts also has an enhanced COVID-19 Information Center, a great source of internal and external information to help you stay well during the pandemic.
  • Visit the COVID-19 Specialty Patient Resource Center provided by Accredo, the Health Plan’s specialty pharmacy provider,
  • Access Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Find a Doctor online service should you need care, and do not have a primary care physician.
  • Health Advocate’s Member Assistance Program offers no-cost, confidential professional support, information, and educational materials to UCC Non-Medicare Plan members. Click here or call 1.877.240.6863.
  • Episode #6: "Advancing Healthcare Through Technology: Telemedicine"
     

According to the American Hospital Association, 76 percent of U.S. hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners through the use of video and other technology. The use of virtual care technology, which includes Telemedicine services, helps increase health care value and affordability – saving patients both time and money.

If you have any questions, or experience any problems with your health coverage, please contact us at 1.800.642.6543.



UCBMA Emergency Grants

We have seen an increase in requests for emergency assistance as members and the ministry settings in which they serve feel the financial impact of the pandemic. Emergency Grants are available to:

  • current Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ;
  • lay employees of a UCC congregation, Association, Conference, or National Setting with a minimum of 10 years of service;
  • surviving spouses/partners of the above; and
  • Members in Discernment for at least a year.

If you are facing a critical financial need requiring assistance and meet the eligibility criteria described above please contact your Conference staff, who will then reach out to our Director of Ministerial Assistance to begin the process.



Member Services

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Please be assured that our full Member Services staff team is available as before to support you. Our call center team can take your calls, answer any questions you may have, and can be reached at 1.800.642.6543 as well as by using the online chat function on our website. Our new Softphone platform enables us to provide enhanced, timely service by routing incoming phone calls directly to each representative’s computer.

During this time, please remember that you can fax or email documents and forms to us at 212.729.2701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., respectively, avoiding delays that may occur with postal mail.



Annuity Benefits

Our business continuity plans ensure that your monthly payments will continue without interruption. Northern Trust, as administrator to the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, has robust contingency plans of its own, and has provided detailed plans to customers such as the Pension Boards.

Please contact Member Services’ call center at 1.800.642.6543 if you need assistance or have any questions concerning your annuity payments.



Investment Management

Your Investment Team continues to monitor the changing financial landscape, and responding quickly to ensure ongoing stewardship of your Annuity Plan accounts. Please click here to read our latest financial markets update.

Regular updates from our investments staff will be emailed to members and posted on the Pension Boards’ website, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages.



A Message for Churches and Employers from the General Counsel

The Pension Boards cannot render legal advice to congregations or members. We can give guidance about our specific benefit plans and how those are affected by current regulations. We are available and willing to assist you in answering any questions related to them. Both the General Counsel of the national setting of the United Church of Christ and Conference attorneys in Conferences represented by counsel are providing information in areas where we cannot, such as personnel and employment matters, layoffs and unemployment insurance, and tax credits. You can also contact a local bar association referral service for names of attorneys specializing in the areas you have questions about that we do not cover. We will respond to your questions in a timely manner as possible, and will refer you to alternative sources when necessary so that you may find the information most helpful to you. Click here to read more.



Annual Meeting Online Voting

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we conduct meetings. We are still considering options for how to hold the 2020 Pension Boards Annual Meeting of Members, and will provide more information as those plans unfold. By now, you should have received your meeting notice and ballot in the mail. We encourage you to take advantage of the online voting portal to vote for your proxy representative to the annual meeting and for Trustees: https://vote.associationvoting.com/pbucc/. Your vote will be recorded and your voice will be heard. (Please note: You will need your seven-digit Pension Boards Member ID number in order to vote online.)



Upcoming Events and Staff Travel

To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Pension Boards has suspended all non-essential staff travel. Staff are available to participate in meetings remotely by Zoom videoconferencing, as needed. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a Zoom presentation by a Pension Boards staff member.


Stay informed. Visit the Pension Boards’ website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.