Greetings to you on behalf of the Pension Boards staff and Trustees. We pray that you and your loved ones remain well.
As we reported in last week’s update, although our staff team continues to work from home, the executive team has begun planning for a gradual re-entry into our offices at a date to be determined in accordance with state and local mandates. Our return to the office will be implemented carefully and thoughtfully to ensure the safety of our colleagues. Additional information will be shared with you once the plan is in place.
Those of you who are members of the Annuity Plan received an email last Friday with information concerning the Pension Boards’ Annual Meeting of Members on Thursday, May 14, at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern), which will be held virtually this year due to the pandemic. To participate:
You may recall that last week, we reported on some of our efforts in enhancing online systems and communications. Enhancing our service to members and employers – through better understanding of member needs, improved customer service satisfaction and timeliness, and increased data security – is a key emphasis of our 2020 Strategic Plan. I am pleased to share that, even in this time of disruption, performance metrics through the end of April show that the Pension Boards has made significant progress toward better serving you. Be assured that these objectives remain front and center as we do our work not only at this time, but continually.
Be sure to visit the Pension Boards’ COVID-19 News and Information web page for the most up-to-date information on benefits and resources available to UCC employees and employers. You may also contact us at 1.800.642.6543 if you have any questions or need assistance.
Thank you for your faithful ministry.
Wishing you peace and good health,
Brian R. Bodager
Our investment team continues to work diligently on your behalf during this time of volatility. This week's Fireside Chat features a conversation with Minoti Dhanaraj, Senior Analyst/External Investments, and the Rev. Dr. James Moos, Executive Director of Faith and Finance Ministries, about the benefits of Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Funds for Annuity Plan members in the accumulation phase.
Ubuntu is a Southern African term that is often translated as, “I am because we are.” It means that we cannot become the people we are created to be and fulfill our potential apart from one another. Ubuntu points to the truth that our lives, our destinies, our very humanity are formed in community.
Sometimes that mutuality joins us together in grief, as it has during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is taking a growing number of lives and has driven us into economic recession. Not only has every state in the union borne these impacts, so has every nation on earth. The good news is that the same interconnectedness that joins us in grief and loss also binds us together in hope and action.
If you are experiencing a critical situation and need financial assistance, you may be eligible for an Emergency Grant from the Christmas Fund if you are:
If you meet the eligibility criteria described above, please contact your Conference staff, who will then reach out to Rev. Krista Betz, the Director of Ministerial Assistance, to begin the process. UCBMA can respond to the increasing requests for assistance because of the generosity of individuals and congregations to the Christmas Fund.
For many, government-issued stimulus checks are a welcome and essential boost at a precarious financial moment. Others, though, are blessed to have resources to survive without it. If you are able, would you consider donating your stimulus check, or a portion of it, so that money can reach those United Church of Christ pastors and lay workers who are struggling? The Christmas Fund for Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund exists to provide direct financial assistance to those who need it most. You can choose to give online, or make checks payable to UCBMA, earmarked for The Christmas Fund, then mail to: Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Christmas Fund, 75 Remittance Drive, Suite 1637, Chicago, IL 60675.
Employers have the option to pay invoices online. Among the benefits of using online bill payment are avoiding postage costs and postal delays; receiving immediate confirmation of payment; and real-time posting of the payment to your account.
If you have not already set up an employer account on our website, click here to register for online bill payment. Select Sign In, then click on the New User link to register. You will need to have a valid email address on file with the Pension Boards. If we do not have a valid email address, please contact our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543. If a valid email address is on file, follow the steps to set up your account and create a password. Once registered, follow the steps below to pay your invoice:
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services at the number listed above.
All UCC coverage (health, pharmacy, dental, and vision benefits) remains in place, with no discontinuation or interruption in service.
If you have any questions, or experience any problems with your health coverage, please contact us at 1.800.642.6543.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives in every way – ministry, family life and relationships, caregiving, finances, increased stress and anxiety, and more. Your UCC Health Plan has a number of mental health resources to assist participants and their covered dependents in coping with the impact of COVID in healthier ways.
Our full Member Services staff team is available as before to take your calls and answer any questions you may have. They may be reached at 1.800.642.6543 as well as on the online chat function on our website.