Employer Agreements Now Available

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

Did You Know?

If you use your bank’s auto-draft system to pay Board invoices, it’s not paperless or completely automated! Your bank sends paper checks to the Board’s lock box. These checks do not include your Board account number and must be manually matched to your account, which can delay posting. Sign up for BoardLink to speed the process and avoid delays.

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.

Review, Update, and Submit Your Employer Agreement Today

It’s time to update your Employer Agreement through Benefits Connect for 2018 benefits. Between now and October 13, log on to Benefits Connect and choose Employer Agreement to select benefits for employees to elect during annual enrollment this fall.

Access the following resources to help answer your questions:

Review, update, and submit your 2018 Employer Agreement by October 13, 2017.

2017 Experience Apportionment Effective

A 2 percent experience apportionment for the Pension Plan was effective July 1, as reported on pensions.org. An experience apportionment enables members to share in the favorable experience of the plan and offers some protection against inflation by providing a lifelong increase in pension benefits for retirees and eligible survivors, and an increase in accrued pension credits for active and terminated vested members.

To learn more about the experience apportionment process, see Will the Board grant a Pension Plan experience apportionment? on pensions.org.

Board Meeting Includes Report of Strong Investment Returns, Dues Actions

The Board of Directors of The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) held its regular summer meeting June 24, 2017, during which the Directors heard a report of the 2017 performance to date of the Balanced Investment Portfolio, the investment fund for the Pension and Death and Disability plans, among other funds. On May 31, 2017, the portfolio had a market value of $9.1 billion. The Directors also approved a stand-alone death and disability dues decrease and a medical dues increase for Pastor’s Participation. Read The Board Bulletin for details.

BoardLink Makes Paying Bills Convenient

BoardLink, the Board’s secure, online payment system, makes it easy and convenient to pay Board invoices. Bills and payments are sent and received electronically, making BoardLink environmentally responsible, too. You receive an email reminder each month when your invoice is ready to be viewed online; payments are deducted from your bank on the date you designate.

With BoardLink, you decide when and how to make payments. You have flexibility to

  • schedule a payment for a future date;
  • make multiple payments on the same invoice in one month; and
  • set up automatic deductions from a financial account on the same day each month. If your invoice amount changes BoardLink will automatically deduct and credit the correct amount, so you don’t need to update the deduction at the bank.

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.

Employers: Encourage Participation in the RSP

As you begin to review and/or update your Employer Agreement and select 2018 benefits, the Board encourages you to evaluate how best to manage your budget dollars and other resources to support employees in pursuing a financially secure retirement.

Consider offering retirement benefits under menu options if you are not already doing so. The following suggestions may help balance the amount you can spend with your desire to help employees as much as possible:

  • Offer Pension Plan participation and/or the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP)
  • Continue Pension Plan participation for employees currently in the plan, while offering only the RSP to new employees
  • Add an employer contribution or matching contribution* to the RSP to help employees save for retirement (especially those no longer enrolled in the Pension Plan)

* Note: An employer matching contribution to the RSP is not considered part of effective salary, so the employer cost for dues-based benefits (such as medical coverage in Pastor’s Participation or Pension Plan participation) is not affected. A fixed employer contribution to the RSP, as a percentage of pay or dollar amount, is considered part of effective salary and included in the calculation of dues.

How To Offer the RSP to Your Employees

If you completed an Employer Agreement, you have formally adopted the RSP:

  • The Employer Agreement automatically preselects RSP participation for employees in Pastor’s Participation, in accordance with the Benefits Plan.
  • If you wish to offer the RSP to employees enrolled in menu options, be sure that you have made the proper selection to include RSP participation for those benefit groups.

How To Help Employees Sign Up

To enroll an employee in the RSP, follow these easy steps:

  1. Collect a completed Salary Deferral Agreement from the employee. Review for accuracy, give a copy to the employee, and keep the original for your files.
  2. Collect a completed Fidelity Investments Enrollment Form from the employee. Review for accuracy and completeness, give a copy to the employee, and set aside the original to send to Fidelity (see step 3 below).
  3. Complete the Initial Contribution Remittance Form (one form for all employees enrolling). Total employee contributions should match salary deferral amounts from each salary deferral agreement in step 1, and should correspond with the funds that you remit to Fidelity with this remittance form and the completed Fidelity Investment Enrollment Forms from step 2.

Employers with questions about the RSP may call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) or Fidelity’s treasurer and administrator assistance line at 800-917-4369.

Make Health and Wholeness Part of Your Workplace Culture

Employers can help employees enrolled in the Medical Plan improve their health and well-being by encouraging them — and their covered spouses — to participate in Call to Health. Keep in mind, employees must act now to accumulate enough points to complete Call to Health by November 17, 2017!

To make health and well-being central to your workplace culture, engage in these best practices:

  • Talk about Call to Health in staff meetings.
  • Allow time off for staff to get preventive exams.
  • Request free Call to Health brochures or posters to display in coffee rooms; call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

In addition to getting essential preventive care, through Call to Health ...

  • Your employees can lower their 2018 medical deductibles by completing Level 1 (earning 1,000 points).
  • They and their covered spouses can each earn a $100 Amazon gift card at certain participation levels.

For details, see Answer the Call to Health. To engage in Call to Health challenges and earn points, participants go to calltohealth.org.

Let’s join together in encouraging members and their covered spouses to answer the Call to Health!

Benefits Connections Prove Helpful to Participants

Participants in the inaugural Benefits Connections said the event contributed to their on-the-job effectiveness. The Board of Pensions hosted the one-day benefits-focused gathering in 10 cities nationwide this spring.

Benefits Connections initiated the Board’s two-stage strategy to engage the Church. The Mid Council Leaders Gathering, scheduled October 15-17, 2017, in St. Louis in collaboration with the Office of the General Assembly, is the second stage.

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