Log on to Benefits Connect to review, update, and submit your Employer Agreement by October 13.

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

Submit Your Employer Agreement for 2018 by October 13, 2017

The Employer Agreement on Benefits Connect is open now and costs for 2018 coverage are available.

Between now and October 13, you should log on to Benefits Connect to review, update, and submit your Employer Agreement for 2018. Once submitted, the Agreement determines the coverage available for employees to elect during annual enrollment, October 30-November 17, 2017.

In addition to the pensions.org section Selecting 2018 Benefits and Case Studies, refer to the following resources for more information:

Employer Agreements for 2018 must be submitted through Benefits Connect by October 13, 2017.

If you have questions about the benefits available to employees or the benefits selection process, contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Q&As: Selecting 2018 Benefits

Following are answers to some questions about selecting 2018 benefits through Benefits Connect.

How do I review and update my Employer Agreement through Benefits Connect?

  • Go to pensions.org; click Log On at the top of the screen, next to the Benefits Connect logo (or go directly to pensions.org/benefitsconnect).
  • On the home page, choose Employer Agreement, then create a new model for 2018.
  • The first time you choose create a new model for 2018, the model will be populated with current employees, 2017 benefits selections, and 2018 costs.
  • Walk through the seven steps to view and select the benefits you will include in your Employer Agreement and make available to employees to elect during annual enrollment.

What if I already submitted my 2018 Employer Agreement but need to make a change?

  • If you’ve already submitted a 2018 Employer Agreement, when you click on create a new model for 2018, the model will be populated with information from the most recent 2018 model you submitted.
  • Click on the topic on the progress bar affiliated with the information you want to change.

I want to view medical rates for 2018. How can I do that in Benefits Connect?

  • To view your medical rates for 2018, you will need to log on to Benefits Connect. On the home page, choose Employer Agreement, then create a new model for 2018, and click on Medical on the progress bar, at the top of the page. You can then select each benefit group and see your medical rates for that group.

I want to view my medical rates for 2017. How can I do that in Benefits Connect?

  • Log on to Benefits Connect. On the home page, choose Employer Agreement, then select 2017 Submitted Agreement on the landing page.

When is my Employer Agreement for 2018 due?

  • The Employer Agreement window on Benefits Connect will be open two weeks longer this year than in 2016 — you may submit your Employer Agreement for 2018 through October 13, 2017.

How do I use the Employer Agreement to select coverage and eligibility for part-time teaching elders?

  • Within most of the primary benefit groups, you may create up to five separate classifications, or groups. These groups are best established based on criteria such as number of hours worked or length of service. However you define eligibility for certain benefits and/or employer contributions, you should be careful that the criteria you use reflect sound human resources policy, and avoid anything that might be viewed as discriminatory.
  • You can move employees (assign them) to a different group within their primary benefit group. For considerations on offering benefits to various church workers, refer to Case Studies on pensions.org.

If you have additional questions about the Benefits Plan or the benefits selection process, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Update Your Employer Profile Today!

If your Employer Profile on Benefits Connect is not up to date, you may be missing important news from the Board of Pensions. Employer Agreements are open as we approach annual enrollment, so it’s more important than ever that the Board can reach you at a current email address. To update your Employer Profile, including employer representative, billing representative, and RSP representative, log on to Benefits Connect and choose Employer Profile, then Contact Information. Click on the pen icon to change information or the appropriate orange button to add a new contact (Add RSP Representative, for example).

Presbyterian Seminaries: Did You Know?

The Board has announced dramatically reduced costs for seminarian healthcare coverage beginning September 1. The enrollment period for this coverage is August 15-September 30, 2017.

Having heard from seminary students that healthcare coverage costs are increasingly beyond their reach, the Board believes that significantly subsidizing those costs for students on the path to ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the right thing to do. The Board’s decision reflects both the connectional nature of the Church and the community nature of the plan.

Please encourage inquirers and candidates for ordination in the Church to consider obtaining coverage through the Board, and, if they wish to enroll, to complete their application and provide any required documents to the Board by September 30.

Understanding Income Replacement

According to Fidelity Investments, record keeper for the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP), most people will need to replace between 55 percent and 80 percent of their preretirement income after they retire to maintain their current or desired lifestyle.

Your employees may think that Social Security will provide enough income during their retirement. Or, they may want to save and are unaware that saving through payroll contributions to the RSP can make it a little easier to set aside retirement funds regularly.

As you review Selecting 2018 Benefits, on pensions.org, and review and update your Employer Agreement, consider offering the RSP under menu options if you are not already doing so. Refer to Employers: Encourage Participation in the RSP in the July edition of Employer News to learn how to offer the RSP to your employees and help them to sign up.

Employers with questions about the Employer Agreement, offering the RSP, and enrolling employees, may contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN). For answers to questions about remitting RSP contributions, call Fidelity’s treasurer and administrator assistance line at 800-917-4369.

For more information about retirement income replacement, read Where Will Your Retirement Income Come From? on pensions.org.

Clergy Effective Salaries Reports Available

The Board has compiled effective salary data for 2017 to assist decision makers with reviewing clergy compensation. Two reports are available, one organized by congregation size and years of service and the other by synod. Read more on pensions.org.

These reports are separate from the Board’s salary study that reports effective salary information for various calculations under the Benefits Plan. For information based on that study, see the Parish Ministry Salary Study, 2018 Median Effective Salaries Available article and the salary study document, on pensions.org.

Pay Bills Securely with BoardLink

Did you know that BoardLink, the Board’s online payment system, meets the banking industry’s strictest security requirements? Each BoardLink transaction is conducted over secure servers, and all sensitive data, including financial account information, is encrypted, so you can feel confident that your information is protected.

It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for BoardLink, and it’s easy and convenient to use. You receive an email reminder each month when your invoice is ready to be viewed online. For added security, the email will contain an image you select when registering for BoardLink, so you’ll know the message is legitimate. Payments are deducted from your bank on the date you designate.

BoardLink offers these other features:

  • easy enrollment
  • payment history; available for six months
  • one-time setup for recurring payments on the same day of each month (If your invoice amount changes, BoardLink automatically deducts and credits the amount billed, so you don’t need to update the deduction at the bank unlike you do when using a bank’s auto-draft or online bill-pay system to pay Board invoices.)

To learn more, view It’s Easy To Pay Board Invoices Online with BoardLink. If you have questions concerning BoardLink or need assistance with the enrollment process, contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) or memberservices@pensions.org.

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