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.

New Benefits Connect Features Aid Employers with Annual Enrollment

You can now use Benefits Connect during annual enrollment to check whether your employees have elected 2018 benefits. Just log on to Benefits Connect, choose Annual Enrollment Status at the top of the page, and employees will display as either submitted or not submitted. You can then remind those who haven’t submitted their 2018 elections that they must log on to Benefits Connect and do so by midnight ET November 17.

Starting the first week of December, you also will have the ability to view employee 2018 elections and costs on Benefits Connect and download that information to a spreadsheet for payroll purposes.

Remember, annual enrollment ends November 17. Annual enrollment is the only opportunity for employees to review and elect benefits coverage for 2018 — unless they have a qualifying life event during the year.

Employers Have 60 Days To Enroll Members through Benefits Connect

Employers now have up to 60 days (previously 30) — before or after an employee’s date of hire (or date the employee becomes eligible for benefits coverage) — to submit a member enrollment.

Keep in mind that member enrollment is a two-part process. As the employer, you take the first step by providing the employee’s personal and contact information in Benefits Connect and assigning him or her to a benefit group. The employee then receives a welcome email from the Board with instructions for enrolling.

You can help ensure a smooth enrollment process by

  1. submitting accurate information in Benefits Connect within 60 days of an employee’s hire date or date of eligibility;
  2. informing new employees that their opportunity to select benefits will begin when they receive the welcome email with instructions from the Board; and
  3. guiding new employees to pensions.org for more information on each of the benefits available to them.

If you have questions or would like more information, please review How to Enroll a Member in the Benefits Plan under Resources & Support in Benefits Connect, or contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Report Terminations when Employees Retire

Retirement is a reason to celebrate many years of service to the Church, along with numerous personal and professional accomplishments.

For benefits purposes, retirement is also considered a termination of employment (the end of benefits as an active member). Employers are responsible for reporting a member’s termination of employment — including retirement — through Benefits Connect up to 60 days before, or immediately upon, a member’s termination date.

When retirement is not reported promptly, retirement application processing can be delayed. In addition, employers who put off reporting terminations (beyond 60 days) are responsible for any dues and/or costs of coverage between the employee’s actual termination date and the benefits end date.

To report a termination, log onto Benefits Connect and choose Manage Employees. Select the employee for which the termination is being reported, then Termination of Employment under Service. Enter all requested information, and be sure to print the confirmation page for your records.

For additional information, please see How to Report a Termination of Employment under Resources & Support in Benefits Connect, or contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Call to Health To Return December 5

Calltohealth.org will be closed November 21 through December 4 while the website is refreshed for its relaunch December 5. (After the 2017 Call to Health challenge period ends November 17, members will be able to go on the site November 18-20 to check their point totals, as results for certain challenges will be posted during that window.)

Beginning December 5, employees and spouses enrolled in the Medical Plan should go back to calltohealth.org, explore the refreshed site, and start new challenges!

Christmas Joy 2017: Out of Gratitude We Give

During Advent, churches throughout the denomination will again receive the Christmas Joy Offering, which equally supports the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Every congregation’s gifts to the Offering are critical to the future of these ministries. If you don’t already do so, please make the Christmas Joy Offering part of your church’s Advent and Christmas tradition.

Help Employees Make the Most of the RSP

An important part of the Benefits Plan is participation in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP). For a refresher on RSP features and advantages for employees, review these resources on pensions.org:

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.

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