Paul was tireless. He planted a lot of churches, he traveled all the time, and he wrote nonstop. He was beaten and jailed, but he never quit. Through it all, he went right on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing the message of salvation. Paul knew the Gospel to be transformative.

Transformation is about moving from a place of hopelessness to one of hope. The Board of Pensions wants to spread hope by making it possible for more employers to provide benefits to more servants of the Church. This is a faithful way for us to serve the Church, by helping employers be the best they can be.

So here’s a word of hope from your Board of Pensions: We’re not managing for decline anymore. We're focused on growing our service to the Church, thereby building the body of Christ. But we need your help. We’ve talked to a lot of you at various gatherings, in different settings, and there are a lot more opportunities upcoming — including our three Regional Benefits Consultations, this month and next.

We want to hear your voice in this very important undertaking. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, “… let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”

We know that Jesus Christ will transform us, and through the Holy Spirit we may transform our Church. Let us not grow weary.

Grace and peace,


The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer
President

Welcome to Board Connections, the newsletter for The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This publication highlights recent Board news and important updates and information. We hope you find this newsletter useful, and we welcome your feedback at any time.

Pension Plan Experience Apportionment Effective July 1

As reported in the spring 2015 Board Bulletin, a 4.7 percent experience apportionment for the Pension Plan is effective July 1. An experience apportionment is a lifelong increase in pension benefits for retirees and eligible survivors and an increase in accrued pension credits for active and terminated vested members.

As of December 31, 2014, the plan’s funded status was 130.5 percent, which the Board attributed to strong plan management and favorable investment performance. To learn more about the experience apportionment process, visit Will the Board grant a Pension Plan experience apportionment? on pensions.org.

New Church Relations Section on pensions.org

Visit the new Church Relations section on pensions.org to learn about the work of the Church Relations team of the Board of Pensions, which is an integral part of connecting the Board with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Church Relations team includes Regional Representatives, located throughout the country.

The new section is located under Members & Employers. From the How We Can Help page, you can explore the different ways in which the Church Relations team provides assistance, including

Visit the new Church Relations section on pensions.org today!

Catamaran To Be Acquired by OptumRx

Catamaran, the Medical Plan’s pharmacy benefits manager, recently announced it has agreed to be acquired by OptumRx, UnitedHealth Group’s free-standing pharmacy care services business, later this year.

Medical Plan members should not expect changes to the prescription drug benefits they receive as a result of the acquisition. The Board of Pensions also does not foresee any change in available prescription fulfillment methods, based on current information. Senior Catamaran leaders have assured the Board that they do not expect to make system changes and that they will keep the Board informed as they work through the acquisition process.

“The Board will work closely with Catamaran throughout the transition,” said Pat Haines, the Board’s Senior Vice President of Benefits, adding, “And although the key aspects of the Prescription Drug Program will remain the same, I would not be surprised if we see some minor changes in process as a result of the acquisition.”

The Board does not expect to have further information until the fourth quarter of 2015, when the acquisition is expected to be completed. As in the past, the Board will keep members informed of any developments that may affect them.

Those plan members whose prescription drug coverage is administered by Catamaran are active members (excluding Anthem, Cigna Global Health Benefits, and Triple-S enrollees) and retired members with Medicare Supplement coverage through the Board.

New Call to Health Web Module: Step by Step for 2015

Have you begun working on your 2015 health actions for Call to Health? Remember, health actions completed through September 30 will help you achieve your best health now and lower deductibles in 2016.

Learn how to record your health actions and check the expanded options by viewing Answering the Call to Health, a new e-learning module from Board University. Answering the Call to Health

  • provides a step-by-step tutorial to help you access and complete Call to Health reporting;
  • reviews new health actions for 2015; and
  • highlights more options for self-reporting.

Check out the Web module and complete Call to Health to achieve your best health!

Walk the Talk: Join Us on National Walk@Lunch Day

Throughout the Church, we often refer to “walking with” a fellow church worker, congregant, or family member as a way of saying we care — that “we’re with you” during times of difficulty.

In a new take on the theme, the Board of Pensions encourages you to take a walk with a neighbor or colleague ― or by yourself ― at lunchtime on Wednesday, April 29, National Walk@Lunch Day. Imagine: Thousands of PC(USA) teaching elders, church workers, and others joining together for a walk in simple celebration of our health, well-being, and the goodness of life.

Connect with others in the larger church community by taking a picture of yourself while you walk at lunch and posting it on the Board’s Facebook page (“like” us first, if you haven’t already).

You can use this handy flier to help you remember to enjoy the fresh air and affirm your well-being on April 29. Come walk with us!

The Learning Connection: Online Courses Coming Soon!

Beginning May 4, Board University will launch The Learning Connection, a learning management system that will offer a limited number of online courses on a pilot basis to select members. Watch Board Connections and pensions.org in coming weeks for details about registration, courses, and format.

Save the Date: Financial Well-Being August 17-18 at Montreat!

Raise your financial awareness at the Board’s first-ever Financial Well-Being Retreat for members Monday and Tuesday, August 17 and 18, 2015. This event for active Benefits Plan members will be held at Montreat Conference Center, in North Carolina. Learn more in the pensions.org article Financial Well-Being Headed Your Way.

Highlighted E-Learning

The April 15 deadline for filing tax returns is just around the corner. Members, treasurers, and administrators may view the tax year 2014 edition of Tax Tips for Members & Churches to understand tax law changes affecting this year’s income tax reporting and filing.

Seminars

Find upcoming seminars and locations

Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches and Tax Guide for Ministers Are Available on Benefits Connect

Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches and Tax Guide for Ministers are available only on Benefits Connect. You can find links to each document in the Online Tools section of Benefits Connect.

The Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches for the 2015 tax year provides step-by-step wage reporting and withholding instructions and information about situations specific to filing various federal forms. Employing organizations whose billing address is in the United States and that are currently receiving a monthly invoice from the Board of Pensions can have one authorized Web representative registered for Benefits Connect.

The Tax Guide for Ministers for the 2014 tax year is available to members and employing organizations that are eligible for Benefits Connect. This guide provides recent tax information that teaching elders can review when preparing their federal income tax returns.

If you are not already taking advantage of Benefits Connect, register today!

Follow the Board on Twitter. Like the Board on Facebook.

If you have comments or feedback on this newsletter, please let us know at communications@pensions.org.

If you have questions, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and speak with a member service representative.

We're looking for photos for possible use in future Board of Pensions communications!
We hope you'll share your favorite photos by sending them to photos@pensions.org.
Please note the name of your church, city, and state as well as a contact name in your email.
Keep in mind that submission of a photo to this email box constitutes permission to publish.