March 16, 2020
The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ has announced the temporary closing of its offices at 475 Riverside Drive effective today and for a period of up to three weeks, due to the varying degrees of severity and complexity of COVID-19 in New York City and surrounding areas.
We want you to know that our business continuity plans ensure that your monthly payments will continue without interruption. Northern Trust, as administrator to the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, has robust contingency plans of its own, and has provided detailed plans to customers such as the Pension Boards.
Beyond assurances about security of your monthly payments, it may be natural to wonder about the impact of market movements on your level of payments going forward. Global equities have struggled as continued economic impact from COVID-19 becomes apparent. The U.S. equity market has continued to be very volatile, with big swings over the past three weeks.
On the other hand, fixed-income (bond) investors have been rewarded recently and the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has lowered interest rates to zero, responding to changes in market rates and attempting to provide support to the economy.
Keep in mind that our Basic, Participating, Balanced Benefit Annuities hold fixed-income securities, which have benefitted recently. That said, lower interest rates pose longer-term challenges to all retirement plans.
The most important thing we can do during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond is protect our robust processes in the management of your annuity. Our leadership team and Board are continuously improving our approach and oversight, with the goal of securing the annuities for the purpose of your lifetime income security.
If you have any questions about your annuity payments, please contact Member Services at 1.800.642.6543. The Pension Boards is committed to faithful stewardship of the resources managed on your behalf.
We are grateful for your continued trust and for the opportunity to serve you.