Over the past several weeks, you have seen in this message an invitation to participate in a quick, two-question survey about the topics and issues most important to you. One topic that has been at the forefront, as seen in the visual word cloud below, is retirement – specifically planning for retirement, better understanding benefits, and how our funds are performing.
It is not surprising that so many of you are thinking about retirement. Those who are in the Baby Boomer generation – like me – will have been employed 40-45 years or more before we begin to receive retirement benefits in the form of annuity or pension payments. For those of you who are younger, especially those just starting out in their careers, total years of active employment will likely be more. All of us share a common goal: to retire with dignity and sufficient financial security for the remainder of our lifetimes.
Unfortunately, that is not always the reality for retirees. A recent article on the Motley Fool website, "You Won’t Believe What Little Income Retirees Are Living On", states,
You’ll often hear that retirement is a less expensive period of life than your working years, and there may be some truth to that... But just because your living expenses may decline in retirement doesn't mean they’ll drop all that drastically. You’ll still need to pay to maintain your home, put food on the table, and cover the cost of utilities. You’ll also have to spend money on healthcare, which may not be as affordable as you’d think under Medicare.
That’s why it’s important to enter retirement with a healthy level of savings. While you can expect some income from Social Security, those benefits generally won’t be enough to cover your living expenses in full. But unfortunately, many of today’s seniors are relying heavily on Social Security, and as a result, they’re living on very little.
How can you prepare for a secure retirement? The Pension Boards can help you with products and services designed to help you achieve your financial wellness goals.
The Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, our denominational retirement plan, is a 403(b)(9) plan with a number of benefits and features not available in other retirement savings instruments:
To learn more about the Annuity Plan, and to plan for a financially healthy retirement, contact Member Services at 1.800.642.6543.
Another area of special interest highlighted in your responses has to do with the health plan and the upcoming transition to the new UCC Medicare Advantage Plan with Rx. I am pleased report that all processes related to implementation of the new plan are on schedule. I invite you to read the article below for information about upcoming mailings and events.
Thank you, again, to all who have taken the time to submit their responses. If you have not yet done so, please take a moment now and click on the survey link below to give us your feedback.
We will continue to address your suggested topics and provide the information you need to serve more effectively in your ministry setting.
Stay well, and be safe.
Brian R. Bodager
As we prepare for the transition to the new Plan, Humana Group Medicare Customer Care is available to help. You may call Humana at 1.866.733.1872, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) with questions you may have about your coverage. When calling, please indicate that you are with the Pension Boards-UCC.
Look for more information from the Pension Boards and Humana by email and mail later this month.
As the Pension Boards transitions to a paperless environment and adapts to working remotely, we are converting to an online process for UCC churches and employers to update their employees’ salaries and pension contribution amounts. We will no longer send out the annual Salary Report to employers by mail in October.
Now, you may sign into your account on the Employer Portal and once logged in, select Salary Report/Update from the left-hand side of the page to make changes as soon as they occur. This will ensure that changes are timely, and that your monthly invoices will reflect the updated information as changes occur.
If you need a paper form, you may download and print a Salary Report Form from the Pension Boards website.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543 for assistance.
The Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Fund 2020 will close in December of this year. In anticipation of the closing of the TAD Fund 2020, you will need to select one of the two options below.
Any balance remaining in your TAD Fund 2020 on December 31 will automatically be moved to the Stable Value Fund.
If you have any questions, or need help, please reach out to our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543.
Note: Your account, including any outstanding balances, and employee salary information, must be up-to-date before you use online bill payment for the first time.
Online payment is the New Standard for the Pension Boards. Please transition your monthly payment to our online portals today! If you are not already using the portals, it’s quick and easy to get started and transactions are secure. Click here for detailed instructions to set up your account.
Generations Financial Resources, Inc., is a lending corporation designed to help alleviate the crushing burden of clergy indebtedness in the UCC. Working in coordination with the Minister’s Financial Vitality Initiative it combines personal finance education, needs-based grants to reduce debt levels, and most significantly, low-interest rate refinancing to substantially reduce the rates our clergy are paying on their educational debt.
If you are not yet in the MFVI program, we encourage you to apply and become eligible for Generations Financial Resources. Applications are available on our website. There are two options: