As we head into the final stretch of 2020, you may still be able to lower your federal income tax for the year. You can do so by reducing your taxable income, which in turn lowers your taxes, or by making the most of deductions that may be available to you this year.
Also, this is a good time to review a few major provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted by the federal government in March 2020 as a response to COVID-19.
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.
By Rev. Ryan Otto
In a letter to the United Church Board of Ministerial Assistance, the philanthropic arm of the Pension Boards, the Rev. Ryan Otto, Pastor First Congregational Church, Sioux Falls, SD, shares how the gift of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative has rooted and shaped his approach to life and ministry. Rev. Otto was a participant of NGLI*1, the inaugural cohort.
To the dreamers, visionaries, and leaders of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative of the Pension Boards: Thank you. Please receive my sincere gratitude for your diligent work in the inventive NGLI program, for the faith to take the risk on such a new endeavor, and for your investment in my ministry and in me as a person of faith.
I will attempt to name the gift of the ten-year NGLI program in one word: rootedness.
By Rev. Beth Abbott
The Rev. Beth Abbott, Pastor of First Congregational UCC in South Milwaukee, WI, shares how her life has been transformed during her almost-completed 10-year journey with the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI). Rev. Abbott is a participant in the inaugural cohort, NGLI*1. Read Rev. Abbot’s letter of gratitude below.
When I began Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI), the idea of a ten-year commitment to anything seemed unusual and rather long. Starting in my 20s, I had only been doing three-to-four-year chunks of schooling (college, seminary) and just dating my now husband, Rich.
The Pension Boards is pleased to announce the addition of two new Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Funds effective January 2021: TAD Fund 2045 and TAD Fund 2050. These two new TAD Funds are designed for members who expect to annuitize their accounts (convert their monies into lifetime monthly income payments) close to the year indicated in the Fund’s name.
TAD Funds are a worry-free investment choice. The Pension Boards’ investment team automatically invests the funds more for growth when you are years away from retirement, and more conservatively as you approach your anticipated annuitization date. TAD Funds are also ideal for those who do not want to constantly reallocate their investments during market fluctuations.
Greetings to you from the Pension Boards. Each November, our Board of Trustees and its Committees—along with the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance—hold governance meetings in an offsite location. With the ongoing pandemic, our usual schedule of meetings has changed, and last week and this week we have been conducting business virtually via Zoom. Please look for updates on Board actions in upcoming weekly messages.
November is open enrollment month for two Pension Boards benefit plans—Optional/ Additional Life Insurance and the Flexible Benefit Plan. 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, at attractive group rates. The Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries—also known as a flexible spending account or FSA—allows employees to set aside a portion of their pre-tax salary to help pay for qualifying health and dependent care expenses. Please read the article directly below for more information.
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.
Your net worth and cash flow are important barometers of your financial wellness.
Your net worth is your current assets (what you own) minus your current liabilities (what you owe). Among other things, your assets include savings and investments and any property you own. Your liabilities may include housing-related debt, such as a mortgage or home equity loan; car loans; personal loans; and credit card balances.
If you owe more than you own, you have a negative net worth. If you own more than you owe, you have a positive net worth.Read more.
By Rev. Mark E. Pettis
The Rev Mark E. Pettis, Senior Minister of Manhattan Beach Community Church in California, is completing his 10-year journey with the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI), a leadership development initiative administered by the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the philanthropic arm of the Pension Boards. Read Rev. Pettis’ letter as he shares his journey and appreciation of the NGLI program.
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.
With October almost at an end, we are entering the final stretch of 2020 – a year that has changed just about everything. In our communities, homes are festooned with seasonal décor, but in many places, there will be no trick-or-treaters knocking on the door and plans for upcoming holiday gatherings will be scaled down. Many, if not most, of our congregations continue to worship virtually, and are planning to do so throughout Advent and Christmas. With a new surge in COVID-19 cases, we remain careful, observing safety protocols to protect our health and the health of others.