Over the last two weeks, meeting virtually, both the Pension Boards Trustees and UCBMA Directors had opportunities to review our progress toward achieving strategic objectives during this atypical year. Our elected leadership expressed appreciation to staff for their efforts in keeping our organizational momentum going. Trustees and Directors also engaged in strategic planning for the coming year, to build upon the strong foundations already in place and become even more responsive to your needs as members and employers.
We have shared plans for the upcoming closing of the Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Fund 2020 at the end of this year. (Please see the article directly below for information.) I am pleased to announce that the Board approved the launch of two new TAD Funds effective January 1, 2021 – TAD 2045 and TAD 2050. These two new additions to the TAD Funds lineup are designed for members with a longer retirement time horizon and, like all TADs, automatically reallocate investments over the course of members’ accumulation years. Please click here for more information.
A reminder that there is still time to enroll in the Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries (also known as an FSA). The enrollment deadline has been extended to December 4. Now through November 30, current participants in the UCC Life Insurance and Disability Income Benefit Plan have an opportunity to purchase additional coverage for themselves and their eligible dependents. Scroll down to the article, November Enrollments: FSA and Life Insurance, to learn more.
This is the 36th weekly message we have sent to you since the start of the pandemic. What began as a rapid-response way of getting essential information to members and employers during a time of uncertainty and anxiety has now become an effective means of staying in touch and providing news and updates about plans and programs designed to benefit those who serve the church.
In two weeks, we will launch a newly-designed weekly e-newsletter – Gateway: Your Access to Pension Boards News and Resources.
Not only will Gateway feature a fresh new “look,” it also makes it easier for readers to navigate their way to the essential information they need. Please look for the debut issue of Gateway in your inbox on Friday, December 4. We welcome your feedback about how to make our communications more effective.
Thank you for your continuing partnership with the Pension Boards. I pray you will remain well and stay safe.
Brian R. Bodager
President/Chief Executive Officer
READER SURVEY: WHAT TOPICS DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
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:
If you have any questions, or need help, please reach out to our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543.
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 is currently available 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, has been extended and now will be available through December 4, 2020.
|Maximum amount of income that may deposited in the FSA in 2021 for dependent care||Maximum amount of income that may be deposited in the FSA in 2021 for medical care||Maximum amount that may be carried over for use in calendar year 2022||Last date to submit expenses for reimbursement for incurrals in calendar year 2021|
|$2,750||$5,000||$550*||March 31, 2022|
*Unused amounts greater than $550 are automatically forfeited.
Applications must be signed by you and your employer and postmarked no later than December 4, 2020.
The FSA Plan will continue to be administered by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Plan participants may access account information and file claims by logging in at www.highmarkbcbs.com and clicking on the Spending & Claims tab.
To re-enroll in the Plan for 2021, please download, complete and sign the 2021 Election and Compensation Reduction Agreement Form, and submit it to your employer. Your employer must sign the form, keep a copy for their records, and mail the signed original form to the Pension Boards postmarked no later than December 4, 2020. To expedite the enrollment process, your employer may fax the form to 212.729.2701, then mail in the original.
Churches and other employers that have not previously participated in the FSA can easily get started by submitting a resolution stating their desire to join the plan along with a onetime start-up fee. Get started today!
The FSA also allows clergy and lay employees to keep more of what they earn. Learn more here.
Your payroll processor should adjust salary records to ensure that the appropriate reductions are made in your 2021 pay, based on your elections. FSA contributions are billed to employers on a monthly basis and payment is due on the 15th of the month following the month FSA dollars are withheld from salary. In accordance with Plan rules, only expenses incurred up to the date the employee stopped contributions to the Plan (due to termination/retirement/qualified change in status) are eligible for reimbursement.
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.”
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.
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.
Having just completed my participation in the “Benediction” event for NGLI*1 (the first cohort in the Next Generation Leadership Initiative), I find myself hovering in a reflective space. Spending this final, “formal” time together with my NGLI cohort reminded me of all that this wonderful program has meant for me and my ministry.
Read more of Rev. Mark E. Pettis’ letter of appreciation for the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI). Rev. Pettis, Senior Minister of Manhattan Beach Community Church in California, is completing his 10-year journey with NGLI. Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.