A Message for Churches and Employers from the Pension Boards General Counsel

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The Pension Boards has received several inquiries about the recently- issued legislation and guidance concerning COVID-19, especially provisions bearing on benefits, church employees, including clergy and lay workers, and health plans. We are in the process of evaluating the specific impact of these provisions on our benefit plans and for our members. We will keep you updated through these communications and on the Pension Boards website (www.pbucc.org).

However, it is important to distinguish where we can be most helpful in answering your questions; and where you can find information or assistance from more appropriate sources.

First, the Pension Boards cannot render legal advice to congregations or members. We can give guidance about our specific benefit plans and how those are affected by current regulations. We are available and willing to assist you in answering any questions related to them. Both the General Counsel of the national setting of the United Church of Christ and Conference attorneys in Conferences represented by counsel are providing information in areas where we cannot. These include matters such as personnel and employment, layoffs and unemployment insurance, and tax credits. You can also contact a local bar association referral service for names of attorneys specializing in the areas you have questions about that we do not cover.

We will respond to your questions in a timely manner as is possible and will refer you to alternative sources when necessary so that you may find the information most helpful to you. Your continued well-being, access to your benefits, and questions concerning our specific plans are of utmost importance to the Pension Boards. If new legislation or guidance affecting our plans is issued, we will communicate with you as soon as possible.