November 6 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

This week, I am pleased to announce the launch of new publication from the Pension Boards: Generations: A Journal of Faith and Finance, which addresses the places in our personal and corporate economic lives where the values of faith intersect with our financial obligations and opportunities. Contributors to the journal bring their own experience and viewpoints from the worlds of faith—within and beyond the United Church of Christ—and finance.

The inaugural issue features insightful articles from the Rev. Deenabandhu Manchala, Executive for Southern Asia with Global Ministries (Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ); Timothy Smith, former Executive Director of the International Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR); the Rev. John Thomas, former UCC General Minister and President; and the Rev. Jim Moos, Director of Faith and Finance Ministries, Pension Boards. I hope you enjoy this new publication and welcome your comments and constructive feedback as we move ahead with this new venture. The way members plan for retirement is another way in which personal values and finances intersect. In recent weeks, we have been focusing on the advantages of saving for retirement through the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, using the PORTAL acronym, shown below.

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This week, our focus is on O and Roptimize retirement outcomes.

Annuity Plan members can optimize retirement outcomes by:

  • Consolidating Their Pre-Tax Accounts. If a minister or lay employee changes jobs along the way and their employer permits them to keep their workplace retirement savings plan balance, they can roll over the monies to the Pension Boards’ Rollover Contribution Account. Consolidating accounts such as a 401(k) or other pre-tax accounts in one place will make it easier to track investments.
  • Staying on Top of Their Financial Goals. During times of market volatility and uncertainty, having a long-term view for retirement will keep members from making short-term decisions based on fear.
  • Revisiting Their Financial Goals and Adjusting. Annuity Plan members can access the robust web resources offered through Ernst & Young (EY) financial planning services and check in periodically with an EY planner, especially during life-changing events such as marriage, job loss, or relocation. Revisiting financial goals and making the necessary adjustments helps investors keep on track toward their expected retirement outcome. An EY planner can also assist members with financial matters that will impact their families and loved ones such as:
    • Preparing a will
    • Estate planning
    • Insurance needs and options
    • Death benefits
    • Updating beneficiaries, and much more!

The Pension Boards’ team of highly trained service representatives are dedicated to UCC employees, to help them optimize retirement outcomes and achieve greater financial security. They are experienced advocates who ensure our benefits and plans are working for members and the ministry settings they serve in every stage of life.

May you and your loved ones remain well and safe.

Best regards,

Brian R. Bodager
President/Chief Executive Officer


GENERATIONS: A JOURNAL OF FAITH AND FINANCE COMING IN NOVEMBER!

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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.”


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READER SURVEY: WHAT TOPICS DO YOU WANT TO SEE?



“For Such a Time as This”

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Gifts to the Christmas Fund in 2020 are needed now more than ever. Because of your past generosity, we’ve been able to respond to a record number of requests for emergency financial assistance from UCC clergy whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic. And we continue to supplement small pensions, help with the cost of medical insurance, and meet emergency needs faced by our retired and active UCC clergy and church lay workers. Your gift of any amount is urgently needed and sincerely appreciated. Please donate today.

In addition to your individual support, if you’re helping a church receive the Christmas Fund offering this year, please note that bulletin inserts, worship resources and more are now online only at www.christmasfund.org. Offering envelopes may be ordered at www.uccresources.com. Thank you for supporting the Christmas Fund!


 Online Payment Portal for Members and Employers: Getting Started

The online bill payment site will be down for routine maintenance starting Thursday, November 5 at 6:00 pm through Monday, November 9 at noon. The December monthly invoices will be available when the portal is back up on Monday, November 9.

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.


Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Fund 2020 Closing December 31

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.

  • Annuitize your account: Please notify Member Services no later than October 31, 2020.
  • Select a replacement fund for the TAD Fund 2020: Please notify Member Services no later than 12:00 p.m. on November 30, 2020.
  • 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.


November Enrollments

Beginning next week, if you are a participant in the Basic UCC Insurance and Disability (LIDI) Plan, you are eligible to elect additional life insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents for 2021. Open enrollment for additional life insurance begins November 2 through November 30, 2020. To learn more, view the 2021 LIDI Plan Highlights booklet and view Frequently Asked Questions here.

Enrollment for the Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries, also referred to as Flexible Spending Account or FSA will be available through November 30, 2020. To learn more, view the Highlights of Your Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries. Stay tuned for more details.


UCC Medicare Advantage Plan w/ Rx: Update

The new UCC Medicare Advantage Plan w/ Rx will replace the current UCC Medicare Supplement Plan with Rx, administered by Humana, on January 1, 2021.

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Information Packets

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.



Humana Informational Webinar

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.

Customer Care

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.


 NGLI*1: Then and Now

The Pension Boards’ Staff, Trustees and UCBMA Directors send sincere well wishes and congratulations to the 10 #UCC local church pastors who are completing 10 years of leadership development through the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (#NGLI). NGLI*1, the inaugural cohort gathered for a virtual event to celebrate this wonderful milestone. Below are pictures from their initial NGLI orientation in 2010, and a recent virtual benediction. Congratulations NGLI*1!

THEN

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NOW

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Congratulations!


Generations Financial Resources: A New Service for MFVI Participants

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.

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2021 Applications Close November 15 for Program One of the Ministers' Financial Vitality Initiative (MFVI)

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.


Randy H. Garrett Named MFVI Interim Program Director

The Pension Boards is pleased to announce that Randy H. Garrett, Senior Finance Manager of Generations Financial Resources, Inc. and Generations Investment Services, Inc., two controlled affiliate companies of the Pensions Boards, has been named Interim Program Director of the Ministers’ Financial Vitality Initiative (MFVI) until a new director is appointed in early 2021. Read Full announcement here. 


Salary Report Update

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.


New Effective Date Policy

GettyImages 995353918Beginning 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.


NEW! EY TaxChat App

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.

  • Get securely matched with EY tax preparer most suited for your tax situation
  • Rely on a dedicated EY professional to prepare and file taxes for you
  • Costs start at $199 - much less expensive than a traditional tax preparation service


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.


Member Services

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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, www.pbucc.org.


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.


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