This is the 32nd weekly message from the Pension Boards since the start of the pandemic. We hope you find these communications helpful in providing information and answering your questions.
We also appreciate the feedback we have received from you, our readers, concerning the topics you would like to hear more about. Thus far, your responses to our reader survey show that health care and pensions continue to be the areas of most interest. Last week, you read about the new Medicare Advantage Plan with Rx. This week, we will highlight one of the major advantages of saving for retirement through the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, administered by the Pension Boards.
You may recall seeing this acronym and graphic in an earlier communication:
Today, I wish to focus on the A and L in this acronym: lifetime income in retirement. Your retirement benefits from the Annuity Plan will not run out, nor can you outlive your Annuity Plan pension!
If you are an Annuity Plan member approaching retirement, you have two lifetime income annuity options available to you – the Basic and Participating Annuities. These two annuity options are offered to you at the time you elect to convert the monies you have accumulated in your Annuity Plan account over the course of your career to a steady stream of lifetime monthly income for yourself and for a joint survivor you select.
Once you have made your decision between the Basic and Participating Annuities, you are now ready to enjoy monthly income payments for life!
Every November, the Benefits Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Investment team review Basic Annuity and Participating Annuity payments based upon funded status and annual investment performance measured from September to September. At that point, a decision is made to set the monthly income payments – whether your benefit will increase, decrease, or remain at the same level – effective January 1 of the following year.
I am already receiving benefits from one of these annuities. When will I receive a notification for 2021?
Our Benefits Committee and Investment Team are scheduled to meet in mid-November to make these determinations. You will receive a notice about your 2021 your monthly lifetime income payment shortly thereafter.
Download a copy of the Annuity Plan document on our website. You may also contact Member Services at 1.800.642.6543.
Additional materials are in development to help you better understand the many advantages of the Annuity Plan, not just at retirement, but at every stage of your career. Please look for these new resources later in the year.
Stay well, and be safe.
Brian R. Bodager
President/Chief Executive Officer
The first issue of a new Pension Boards online publication, Generations: A Journal of Faith and Finance, addresses a variety of current issues related to the places in our personal and corporate economic lives where the values of faith intersect with our financial obligations and opportunities. The inaugural issue is themed: “Mobilizing Resources for Change.” Watch your email for an introduction!
READER SURVEY: WHAT TOPICS DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
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. 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.
Employers: Click here for a new, updated User Guide for online bill pay.
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.
If you have any questions, or need help, please reach out to our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543.
Humana Benefit Kit packets to current participants in the current UCC Medicare Plan have been sent out, and you may have already received yours in the mail. You may also view the Humana Benefit Kit here.
Earlier this week, the Pension Boards and Humana hosted a series of informational webinars about the new plan. We were pleased to see that several hundred current plan participants joined the webinars. If you were unable to participate or wish to review the information presented, a recording is now available. Click here to view the presentation.
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.
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. Watch this video to learn more.
Thank you to all who have submitted applications for the Ministers' Financial Vitality Initiative (MFVI) program. The Pension Boards will continue to review and receive applications through November 15. Sixty participants (two cohorts of 30 participants each) will begin their financial wellness journey in 2021. Applicants who are not received into the 2021 cohorts are encouraged to reapply next year.
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 EY TaxChat™ app is an on-demand, mobile tax preparation service that connects Pension Boards members with Ernst & Young (EY) tax professionals in an easy-to-use online environment, making the filing of tax returns simple, fast, and reliable.
PBUCC members get a 10% discount using referral code: PBUCC20. If you register by December 31, you will receive an additional 10% discount. Learn more here. To receive a free, no-obligation price quote, click here.
Beginning January 1, 2021, the Pension Boards' policy will be to accept only current or future dates on all benefit forms submitted to effect any benefit enrollment or change for our members. Retroactive effective dates will no longer be accepted. Look for additional communications regarding this change in coming weeks.