Welcome to Board Connections, a newsletter from The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). If you have any feedback or would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please let us know.

Living by the Gospel: A resource for navigating the call process

The updated Living by the Gospel is now available, with an effective date of January 1, 2019. This guide to structuring terms of call is designed for presbyteries and mid councils but is also a resource for ministers navigating the call process. Data in the guide has been refreshed and includes additional gender breakdowns for salary, ordination, and benefits participation.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been ordaining fewer ministers each year and providing a smaller percentage of them with benefits. But the 2017 data in Living by the Gospel (Appendix 3) shows an increase in both. Yet, a gender gap persists. Through the last 10 years, women have outnumbered men ordained, but men have obtained benefits at a far greater rate — 76 percent to 62 percent.

Board leaders hope the guide will help move the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) toward providing full benefits to all PC(USA) ministers. The 223rd General Assembly (2018) authorized Living by the Gospel, and asked the Board to update it annually and distribute it to all mid councils, Committees on Ministry, Committees on Preparation for Ministry, and Pastor Nominating Committees.

Get ready for annual enrollment

This year’s annual enrollment is October 29 through November 16. During this time, employees may change their benefit elections, or add or drop coverage, for 2019. You can start preparing for annual enrollment now:

  • Log on to Benefits Connect to review the coverage you currently have.
  • Think about whether the same coverage will meet your needs in 2019.
  • Learn about 2019 benefits and important things to consider when electing benefits.

Then, when annual enrollment begins October 29, you can view your 2019 choices and costs on Benefits Connect and enroll or make changes to your coverage effective January 1.

Strengthen your financial and vocational well-being with new webinars

Join Board of Pensions educators from the comfort of your office, home, or favorite coffee shop for our fall 2018 webinars:

  • Tax-Related Topics for Clergy, Church Employees, and the Church covers implications of the new tax legislation (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) for filing 2018 taxes.
    • Tuesday, November 6, 9:30-10:30 a.m. ET
    • Thursday, November 8, 2-3 p.m. ET
  • Exploring Vocation: Imagining New Possibilities, for active and retired ministers, employees, and their spouses, looks at the relation between vocation and identity. For those who understand our work to be a calling, it can be especially difficult to imagine who we are apart from our profession.
    • Thursday, November 15, 2-3 p.m. ET

Enrollment is limited, so register now.

New challenges to help you cross the finish line

There’s less than a month to go until the Call to Health deadline. Are you trying to complete Level 1 and earn reduced medical deductibles in 2019? Or are you looking for ways to reach 2,000 points to receive a $100 Amazon gift card? We’ve recently added new challenges that can help you reach your goal:

  • Quiet Mind, Better Sleep: Journal your worries at least once a week (25 points/week).
  • Reach for Fitness: Identify your exercise goals (50 points).
  • Random Acts of Kindness: Track at least three random acts of kindness each week (10 points/week).

Find these and other challenges at calltohealth.org. And remember, if you’ve had a vision or dental exam in the past year, they’re each worth 50 points once you record them. Answer the Call by November 16.

*Those enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan also have preventive care benefits under their plans, but coverage details may differ. Consult your plan’s provisions for details.

Plan for a secure retirement with Fidelity tools and resources

National Retirement Security Week begins Sunday, October 21, so it’s a good time to review your retirement plans. Fidelity Investments, administrator of the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP), offers tools and resources that can help. Answer six simple questions and get your Fidelity Retirement Score, an estimate of how well your projected savings will cover your expenses in retirement. Then visit Fidelity’s Planning & Guidance Center to learn more about retirement savings goals, investment strategies, and next steps to ensure you’re financially prepared for retirement.

The RSP is a 403(b)(9) defined contribution plan designed to help ministers and employees of PC(USA)-affiliated employers and affiliated organizations build financial security. All employees of PC(USA) congregations and employers are eligible to participate in the RSP if their congregation or employer offers the plan. Annual enrollment is a great time to check your contribution level and make sure it matches your retirement needs.

As we work to depict the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on our website and in other materials, we would love to include your images of ministers and other church employees at work.

Please send us your photo submissions by Friday, October 19. You must own the photo to submit it. If your photo is chosen, we’ll send you a release form to fill out and return.

Submit your photos.

If you have questions or need assistance, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, or email us at memberservices@pensions.org.

If you have questions or need assistance, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, or email the Board at memberservices@pensions.org.