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.

Why Wait until October 13? Submit Today!

By October 13 all employers must review, update, and submit their Employer Agreements for 2018. Why wait until October 13? If you haven’t done so already, log on to Benefits Connect today to select the benefits for your Employer Agreement for 2018. Your selections will determine the elections available to employees during annual enrollment October 30 through November 17. Help employees prepare by asking them to think about their current coverage and any changes they might need to make for next year. For more information, read Employers: Submit Your Agreement for 2018 Today! on pensions.org.

Need more information and help? View this 90-second video or go to the expanded pensions.org section.

Q&As: Selecting 2018 Benefits

Here are answers to questions about selecting 2018 benefits through Benefits Connect:

Is Benefits Connect different this year?

You’ll find new features on Benefits Connect to make selecting benefits easier:

  • You can select different employer contribution amounts for PPO and EPO medical options in menu options.
  • You can enter employer contributions with two decimal places to align more easily with budgeted dollar amounts.
  • When you submit your Agreement, you may see a reminder with links to return you to any part of the Agreement where you may have overlooked selecting benefits for a benefit group.

When should I submit my Employer Agreement for 2018?

The Employer Agreement window on Benefits Connect is open two weeks longer this year than in 2016 — every employer must review, update, and submit an Employer Agreement for 2018 by October 13, 2017.

On Benefits Connect, how do I view 2018 benefits costs?

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.

  • If it’s the first time you are choosing create a new model for 2018, the model will be populated with current employees, 2017 benefits selections, and 2018 costs.
  • If you have submitted a 2018 model, any new models you create will be populated with the most recent 2018 model you submitted, and 2018 costs.

How can I obtain a copy of my 2017 Employer Agreement?

From the Benefits Connect landing page, choose Employer Agreement. At the bottom of the page, select 2017 Submitted Agreement to view your Agreement from last year and last year’s costs.

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

Annual Enrollment Coming in October

Annual enrollment — the time for employees to review and elect benefits for the following year — will be October 30 through November 17 for coverage effective January 1, 2018. Details will be mailed to homes, communicated by email, and posted to pensions.org in the coming weeks.

Your employees’ coverage options and costs will be determined by the benefits selections in your 2018 Employer Agreement, so be sure to submit your Agreement through Benefits Connect by October 13. If you have questions about the benefits selection process or need assistance, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Watch for These New Features on Benefits Connect

  • During annual enrollment (October 30-November 17), you will be able to view whether employees have submitted or not submitted their elections through Benefits Connect.
  • In early December, you will be able to view — and download to a spreadsheet — employee 2018 elections and costs.

Mark Your Calendar

  • October 13: deadline for employers to submit their final 2018 Employer Agreements on Benefits Connect
  • October 30-November 17: time frame for members to log on to Benefits Connect to review 2018 benefits options and costs and make their elections
  • November 17: deadline for members to elect 2018 benefits

Employees’ Financial Well-Being

This month, employees who participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP) will receive an email reinforcing the importance of financial well-being. Please support your employees’ participation in the RSP.

Employers must offer the RSP to those in Pastor’s Participation and may offer it to other employees. All PC(USA) employees are eligible to save in the RSP. Any employee receiving a W-2 from a PC(USA) employer may join.

The RSP’s online resources ― particularly the Planning & Guidance Center provided by Fidelity Investments, the RSP record keeper ― can help individuals set goals and better understand the many factors that can affect financial well-being during retirement.

If you have questions about the RSP, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) or Fidelity’s treasurer and administrator assistance line at 800-917-4369.

Help Members Earn Reduced Deductibles

Do your employees know they have a chance to earn both one-third lower medical deductibles for 2018 and a $100 Amazon gift card? All they need to do is complete Call to Health and reach Level 2 by November 17, 2017!

To help inspire members who have medical coverage through the Board but who have not yet registered for Call to Health, please share this article about a fellow member recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, who cites Call to Health as having made a difference in his overall well-being. We hope you’ll also encourage members and their covered spouses who have started but not completed Call to Health to finish strong.

Board Addresses Changes in Ordered Ministry Titles

As the Board updates its communications materials, both digital and print, it will incorporate changes in ordered ministry titles through 2017 and into 2018. Among the changes, teaching elder becomes minister of the Word and Sacrament. The changes result from amendments to the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) proposed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and ratified by the presbyteries. Read more on pensions.org.

Click and Pay with BoardLink

Review and pay Board invoices with just the click of a mouse using BoardLink. It’s easy to sign up and there’s no cost to you. Simply go to BoardLink and enter your PIN/account and billing ZIP code from your most recent Board invoice. Provide your contact information, choose your security settings, and enter the financial account information you’ll use to pay the invoice.

Once you complete the enrollment process, you’ll receive an email containing a link to activate your account. You can then log in and start managing your account. You’ll receive an email reminder each month when your invoice is ready to be viewed online. It’s that easy!

Try It Today!

Did you know you can make an online payment through BoardLink without formally enrolling? If you have a paper invoice from the Board, select the Pay Now option from the BoardLink login page to make an online payment. You will need the PIN and billing ZIP code from your invoice, as well as your financial account information. Try it, and see how easy and convenient it is to use BoardLink.

To learn more, read It’s Easy To Pay Board Invoices Online with BoardLink on pensions.org. 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.