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.

Board Provides Update on Tax Law Changes, Resources

The IRS has begun to release guidance on the tax legislation signed into law December 22, 2017, which largely took effect January 1, 2018. The law did not require changes to the Benefits Plan or its core benefits but is relevant to all individuals and businesses. For an overview of changes to tax law that might affect Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, agencies, and PC(USA)-affiliated employers and their pastors and employees, read the pensions.org article.

Tax Resources Available

The Tax Guide for Ministers for 2017 Returns and Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches: What You Need To Know for 2018 are now available through Benefits Connect (see Quick Links on your home page when you log on). The Tax Guide will also be mailed to active and retired ministers of the Word and Sacrament this month.

Included with the Tax Guide is the housing allowance letter, which is available on pensions.org.

The Tax Tips for Members and Employers – Tax Year 2017 tutorial is now available in the Tax Resource Center at Board University. This annual resource helps plan members and employers (including church treasurers and administrators) understand tax law changes that affect 2017 income tax reporting and filing. The tutorial contains links to other helpful resources, including the Clergy Housing Allowance tutorial.

2017 Investment Review Available

The Board of Pensions 2017 Investment Review is available on pensions.org. The review addresses the investment results for the Board of Pensions Balanced Investment Portfolio for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Benefits Connections Are Back!

Benefits Connections — one-day gatherings for those who drive benefits decisions or manage benefits for church employers of all sizes — will be held in 14 locations around the country, beginning April 11, 2018.

Registration for Benefits Connections (available to anyone who would like to attend) will open February 26. To learn more and find out if we are in your area, visit pensions.org.

Congregational leaders (including business administrators, clerks of session, and pastors) and presbytery leaders (including Committee on Ministry and Committee on Preparation for Ministry members) will have the opportunity to learn about the theological values that shape the Benefits Plan, hear about 2019 benefits, and ask questions of Board leadership and staff. The agenda also includes ample time for discussion and fellowship with peers.

If you have questions, please contact a member of the Church Relations team by emailing benefitsconnections@pensions.org or calling 215-587-7588.

Fidelity To Simplify Your RSP Contribution Process

If you use paper forms to remit employee contributions to the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP), Fidelity Investments is making the process a little easier. Fidelity Investments, RSP record keeper, is replacing the paper RSP Contribution Remittance Form with its new, secure online Simplified Contribution Platform (SCP). The transition has already begun. To learn more, read the pensions.org article.

Share These Resources with Employees

Employees may not always take time to examine their short- and long-term financial goals. From managing student debt to saving enough for retirement, it’s important for employees to set financial goals aligned with their lifestyles, and to make a plan to reach those goals. Encourage your employees to use the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP), and its many resources, to support their financial well-being. Consider these current resources:

  • Learn How the New Tax Law Affects You. Fidelity Investments, RSP record keeper, recently emailed RSP participants, directing them to a summary of how the new tax law may affect them.
  • Get Ready for America Saves Week. America Saves Week (February 26-March 3, 2018) is a national celebration to encourage employees to save money and plan for the future. RSP participants should look for messages in Board Connections and on pensions.org, and from Fidelity Investments, about how boosting your savings by 1 percent — in the RSP or a personal savings account — can contribute to a secure retirement.
  • Don’t Miss These Call to Health Challenges. Employees who are covered by the Medical Plan and also participate in the RSP can earn Call to Health points with two new financial challenges. Read RSP Participants Can Earn Call to Health Points with These Challenges on pensions.org.

The RSP’s online resources ― particularly Fidelity’s Planning & Guidance Center ― can help participants 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.

Talk It Up!

Do you challenge your employees to take part in Call to Health*?

You can help staff enrolled in the Medical Plan increase their participation — and improve their health and well-being — through these best practices:

  • Talk up Call to Health at staff meetings. Remind employees they can reduce their deductibles by up to one-third — a potentially significant savings — by completing Call to Health.
  • If you are eligible for Call to Health, set an example by participating, and share your own journey with staff if you are comfortable doing so. For inspiration, see Living the Call, the member testimonials page on pensions.org.
  • Use the poster, web tutorial, and other materials in the employer Call to Health Toolkit.
  • Give time off for employees to get preventive exams.
  • Set up a contest or drawing for Call to Health participants for a health-related prize, such as a Fitbit or a healthy lunch.
  • Make a payroll stuffer or send an email urging staff to visit pensions.org/calltohealth to learn more.

Punch up your Call to Health efforts! Make your office a healthy — and fun — place to work!

*Call to Health is available to members and their spouses enrolled in the active Medical Plan (the Highmark PPO or EPO); it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.

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