Beginning in the new year, the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP) gets even better.
A new investment option and three new features are being added to the RSP — participation in which has been expanded through the 2017 Benefits Plan. These additions complement the RSP’s already available tax advantages, diverse investment options, and investment education resources, making it comparable to many commercially available employer savings plans. RSP participants will have access to these options starting January 3, 2017.
While employers will be required to offer the RSP in Pastor’s Participation, they are encouraged to offer it to all employees.
What’s New in the RSP?
New Investment Option: RSP participants will have the ability to contribute to the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund Institutional Class (PGINX) starting January 3, 2017. This new option is fossil fuel-free and was added in response to the 222nd General Assembly (2016), where church agencies were asked to consider diversifying the energy sector holdings in their portfolios to offer investment opportunities with companies that are actively responding to climate change. The fund invests in companies around the world that offer solutions in energy efficiency, water infrastructure, waste management, and sustainable food and agriculture. For more information, read Presbyterians Can Now Invest Fossil-Fuel Free!
Managed Accounts: If your financial situation is somewhat complex, or you seek an investment strategy tailored to your specific situation and risk tolerance, Fidelity’s managed account service — Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service at Work (PAS-W) — may be an appropriate alternative. Using the RSP investment options, a team of professionals will work with you to create a portfolio aligned with your unique financial situation and goals. In addition, Fidelity’s professional managers consider all your accounts, including any pension, annuity, or Social Security benefits you expect to receive in the future, as well as your salary, your feelings about risk, and your overall financial situation. This is an optional, fee-based service that will be available starting January 3, 2017.
Brokerage Window: Fidelity BrokerageLink, offered by Fidelity Investments, combines the convenience of your RSP account with the additional flexibility of a brokerage account. BrokerageLink provides the opportunity to select from thousands of mutual funds beyond the investment options offered through the RSP. You can direct future contributions and/or transfer a portion of your existing RSP account to BrokerageLink. It is recommended that you do not attempt to purchase any of the investment options available in the RSP within BrokerageLink as they may be subject to higher investment management fees and/or other transaction fees. Keep in mind that the brokerage window isn't for everyone. It is typically used by individuals who are comfortable making investment decisions and can dedicate more time to managing their investments. The BrokerageLink service will be available starting January 3, 2017.
Loans: The loan provision will allow you to borrow from your RSP account balance. The loan is limited to the lesser of 50 percent of your account balance or $50,000, minus your highest loan balance in the past 12 months. You must repay a loan with interest within five years and only one outstanding loan is permitted at a time. If the loan will be used to buy a primary residence, the repayment period may extend to 15 years. A loan from the RSP means that you are borrowing funds from your account that you will pay back to yourself. Before you take a loan, it’s important to consider all the potential costs and ramifications of doing so, including loan fees and the loss of compound earnings. The loan feature will be available starting January 3, 2017.
Learn More or Sign Up for the RSP
To learn more about the RSP, see Why participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? If you still have questions, call Fidelity at 800-343-0860 (mention plan #57887) or the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and speak with a service representative.
If you don’t already participate in the RSP, and your employer offers the plan, join today! Just download the Fidelity Investments Enrollment Form for the 403(b)(9) Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Retirement Savings Plan Salary Deferral Agreement from pensions.org, or call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) to request the forms. Give the completed forms to your employer to process.
If you already participate in the RSP and want to increase the amount you save, complete the Salary Deferral Agreement only, make a copy for your files, and give it to your employer.