Securing Your Foundation, So You Can Serve Others Well

Rely on the Pensions Boards as your trusted resource

As a UCC minister, you are called to a life of service, devoting yourself to the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of those in your congregation. This selfless commitment, however, can sometimes mean you will have to make financial sacrifices along the way. Changes in your ministry role, unexpected life events, or other personal challenges can impact your financial wellbeing and retirement plans.

It's important to recognize that securing a financial foundation that includes your overall health is vital not only for your personal wellbeing but also for your effectiveness in ministry.

The Pension Boards understands your call and commitment to serve and can help ensure that your financial plan adapts to life-changing circumstances. You can rely on us as your trusted resource. Consider these practical tips as a starting point:

Budgeting and Financial Planning:

  • Start by establishing a comprehensive budget that accounts for your income, expenses, and savings goals.
  • Seek professional financial guidance to create a tailored financial plan that aligns with your income structure. If you are a Pension Boards’ member, utilize the unlimited, no-cost access to a Fidelity Retirement Planner.

Emergency Funds:

  • Building an emergency fund is essential to handle unexpected expenses without resorting to debt. Financial planners recommend setting aside three to six months' worth of living expenses as a financial safety net. If this is unrealistic for you, don’t worry because you are not alone. You can, however, start by saving incrementally with a goal to save one months’ worth of your income. Something is better than nothing.
  • Emergency Grant Assistance: In the event an emergency arises that places you in financial hardship, you may be eligible for an Emergency Grant through the Christmas Fund. The United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance (UCBMA), the philanthropic arm of the Pension Boards, administers a number of grants that are made possible through faithful donations to the Christmas Fund each year. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

Debt Management:

  • Manage debt wisely to avoid financial burdens that can hinder your ministry work. Learn about the Ministers’ Financial Vitality Initiative that is helping UCC authorized ministers alleviate their debt burdens. While the program applications open in the fall of every year, you can indicate your interest in applying by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The MFVI team will notify you when the application season begins.
  • Get Tips for Paying Down Debt and learn how to prioritize paying off high-interest debts while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, or consider consolidating debt.

Prioritize Your Health

  • Know the many UCC Health Benefits administered by your Pension Boards. Highmark Plan participants can:
    • choose from three medical plan options (Plans A, B and C) available with varying levels of benefits and premiums to fit participant’s needs
    • receive preventive services covered at no cost.
    • get convenient access to virtual medical care via Teladoc for $0 copay.
    • expect flexibility in provider choice with access to nationwide directory of providers.
    • receive 24/7 free and confidential access to registered nurses, and more.
    As a Highmark Plan participant, you can participate in the Healthy Stewards Rewards Program where you and your covered spouse/partner are eligible to earn up to $500 each in for actively participating in healthy activities.


  • Consider investing in one of the Pension Boards’ Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Funds to grow your retirement income over time. TAD Funds are among the Pension Boards’ 11 investment options through participation in the Lifetime Retirement Income Plan for the United Church of Christ. TAD Funds are a simple investment solution that automatically rebalances the asset allocation and risk of your portfolio and becomes more conservative as the target date of the fund approaches – typically one’s expected date of retirement. Our dedicated and trusted Investment team manages your retirement assets prudently on your behalf, and in your best interest, so you can be confident in achieving the best possible financial outcomes.
  • Consult with a Fidelity Retirement Planner who can help review your financial plan to ensure it remains aligned with your goals and circumstances. Adjust your plan as needed to accommodate life changes.

Invest in your financial education

  • If you are not sure where to start, you are in good company. The Pension Boards team recognizes the importance of financial literacy, so you have the tools you need to make informed decisions about investments, taxes, and retirement planning. Register for Pension Boards’ informative webinars and seminars. Click here to view our upcoming scheduled events.

These are just a few practical ways to begin to secure your financial foundation. There are other options and possibilities. Call us at 1.800.642.6543 to learn more about our programs and benefit offerings.

By managing your finances in practical ways, and seeking professional guidance, you can continue your ministry with confidence, knowing that your financial foundation is strong, and your retirement years are secure. The Pension Boards is your trusted resource in securing this foundation, so you can continue in your God-given call with confidence.