Employer Agreement

​The Employer Agreement documents the benefits an employer offers its employees each year. Benefits available for employees to elect during annual enrollment in the fall, or when an employee has a qualifying life event, will be based on your selections in the Employer Agreement.

An employer must have an Employer Agreement on file with the Board of Pensions. The agreement defines

  • which benefits will be offered;
  • who will be eligible for benefits; and
  • how much employees will contribute toward the cost of coverage.

Employers submit an Employer Agreement when they first join the Benefits Plan and each year thereafter during the designated period, usually beginning in July.

Submitting your agreement

Benefits Connect guides you through the process to submit your Employer Agreement. Employers decide who will be offered what benefits, when coverage will take effect, and how much you and employees will contribute to the cost of coverage. At the end of the process, the online Employer Agreement you submit to the Board through Benefits Connect will document these decisions.

Creating benefit groups and classifications

The Employer Agreement categorizes employees in five primary benefit groups:

  • employees working 20 or more hours per week
  • employees working less than 20 hours per week
  • installed pastors
  • ministers of the Word and Sacrament working 20 or more hours per week
  • ministers working less than 20 hours per week

Within most of the primary benefit groups, you may create up to 10 separate classifications or groups, best established based on criteria like number of hours worked or length of service. You can move employees, with some limitations, to a different group within their primary benefit group; however, there are limitations on moving employees between primary benefits groups.

Because employees elect benefits from the selections you make now, setting up groups correctly is important so that employees receive appropriate coverage. Incorrect groups may result in unanticipated employer contributions or in unintentional discrimination.

Keep in mind the following:

  • If you employ ministers (other than installed pastors) who work 20 or more hours per week, the Board urges you to provide benefits to this group through Pastor's Participation. If you choose Pastor's Participation for these ministers, it should apply to all ministers working 20 or more hours per week.
  • Benefits selections should support a position and not a specific person. Over time, the person in the position or the needs of that employee may change.
  • The Employer Agreement does not capture criteria for each benefit group, so it may help to document and save the criteria you use. Follow sound human resources policy and local presbytery guidelines in being transparent, consistent, and fair when determining benefit groups.
  • However you define eligibility for certain benefits and/or employer contributions, you should be careful to avoid anything that might be viewed as discriminatory on the basis of age, sex, race, or ethnicity.

Updating your employer profile

The employer representative maintains the Employer Profile on Benefits Connect, ensuring that contact information is accurate and up to date for themselves, the billing representative, and Retirement Savings Plan representative, if applicable. Review and update all email and mailing addresses so that the Board may contact you with important information.