May 12 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

As the Pension Boards staff enters into our ninth week of sheltering in place and working remotely, we continue to pray that you and your loved ones are well and safe. Our executive team remains focused developing a re-entry plan that ensures our colleagues remain healthy and safe once state and local restrictions are lifted.

Annuity Plan members received a reminder email yesterday with information concerning the Pension Boards’ Annual Meeting of Members, which, due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held virtually on Thursday, May 14, at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern). To participate:

  • Annuity Plan Members: You will need to log in to your member portal on the Pension Boards’ website. (NOTE: You will need your seven-digit member ID and password. If you have not set up a member login, please take a few minutes to do so prior to the Annual Meeting.)
  • Once you have logged in, you will see information about the Annual Meeting along with a link to the video-conference and dial-in instructions for those participating by phone.
  • Log in to your member portal on May 14 to join the Annual Meeting.
  • Click here to vote online for your proxy representative to the Annual Meeting and for Pension Boards Trustees if you have not already done so. (NOTE: Have your seven-digit Pension Boards Member ID number available to use the online voting portal.) All voting will close at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
  • Click here to view the Pension Boards 2019 Annual Report.

In times of disruption, we are still working to advance our strategic objectives for 2020. Over the past two weeks, we reported on efforts in improving online systems, communications, and enhancing our service to members and employers. Today, I would like to report on an initiative that touches each one of us across the organization – the Faith and Finance Cultural Transformation Project. A cross-functional team of colleagues, working with an outside consultant, has done remarkable work in advancing this initiative, identifying Biggest Opportunities for Improvement (BOFIs) for the Pension Boards, and providing us with creative ideas on what we need to prioritize in order to meet your changing needs. Our internal cultural transformation is already having an impact on the way we engage with members, employers, and partners and has enabled us to be more responsive in helping you find solutions to the challenges of our current landscape.

Visit the Pension Boards’ COVID-19 News and Information web page for the most up-to-date information on benefits and resources available to UCC employees and employers. You may also contact us at 1.800.642.6543 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Thank you for your faithful and creative ministry.

Wishing you peace and good health,

Brian R. Bodager

Emergency Grants from the Christmas Fund

If you are experiencing a critical situation and need financial assistance, you may be eligible for an Emergency Grant from the Christmas Fund if you are:

  • a currently Authorized Minister in the United Church of Christ;
  • a lay employee of a UCC congregation, Association, Conference, or National Setting with a minimum of 10 years of service;
  • a surviving spouse/partner of the above; or a
  • a Member in Discernment for at least a year.

If you meet the eligibility criteria described above, please contact your Conference staff, who will then reach out to Rev. Krista Betz, the Director of Ministerial Assistance, to begin the process. UCBMA can respond to the increasing requests for assistance because of the generosity of individuals and congregations to the Christmas Fund.

New! Fireside Chat Series: Episode #6

This week’s episode of our Fireside Chat video series features a conversation between the Rev. Dr. Jim Moos, Executive Director, Faith and Finance Ministries and the Rev. Krista Betz, Director of Ministerial Assistance.

How to Help in This Moment

The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis has made personal finances precarious for many among us. We are receiving a growing number of requests for assistance. If you are able to donate to the Christmas Fund, we urge you to consider a gift now. Your gift will enable emergency financial assistance for those in immediate need.

You can choose to make a secure online gift, or make checks payable to UCBMA, earmarked for The Christmas Fund, then mail to: Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Christmas Fund, 75 Remittance Drive, Suite 1637, Chicago, IL 60675.

Financial Markets Update: April 2020

Financial markets had a solid rebound in April after a weak start to 2020, with the S&P 500 index rising 12.7% month-to-date (MTD) after registering the extremely weak first quarter of 2020.

Various fiscal programs so far this year such as The CARES Act, Exchange Stabilization Fund, Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF), and several other Federal Reserve (Fed) programs like the Main Street Lending Program and Municipal Liquidity Facility have been the major factors in the market rebound since the lows on March 23.

Investors continue to be concerned about the human toll and economic impact of COVID-19, which has impacted well over 3 million people and has claimed 230,000 lives globally. Though activities have started resuming slowly, there is no doubt that the economic toll will be felt most severely over the next few months, with all the shutdowns, lack of activity, and layoffs. In the coming months, we will hear about the impact on company earnings.


Health Plans

All UCC coverage (health, pharmacy, dental, and vision benefits) remains in place, with no discontinuation or interruption in service.

  • NEW: COVID-19 antibody testing is available at no cost to participants in the UCC Non-Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans. The Plan will cover antibody testing when prescribed by a physician. The antibody test involves a blood test, rather than the nasal swab used for COVID-19 testing.
  • COVID-19 testing, which is available currently at no cost to participants in the UCC Non-Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plan with Rx, will now include other tests (e.g., flu tests, blood tests, etc.) that are deemed medically appropriate to determine the need for the COVID-19 diagnostic test. Please contact Highmark Member Service at 1.866.763.9471 with any questions.
  • Through May 31, all in-network deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments are waived for participants in the UCC Non-Medicare and Medicare Supplement with Rx Health Plans who require hospitalization following a positive test for COVID-19.
  • The normal copay for telemedicine services through Teladoc is also waived at this time.

If you have any questions, or experience any problems with your health coverage, please contact us at 1.800.642.6543.

Mental and Emotional Wellness in a Time of Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives in every way – ministry, family life and relationships, caregiving, finances, increased stress and anxiety, and more. Your UCC Health Plan has a number of mental health resources to assist participants and their covered dependents in coping with the impact of COVID in healthier ways.

  • Mental health and substance abuse services are available through the Non-Medicare Health Plan and Medicare Supplement w/Rx Plan, at the same coverage levels, copayments, and coinsurance levels as physical care. Please check the Plan Highlights booklet for your plan for more information about your coverage.
  • For Non-Medicare Health Plan participants, the Member Assistance Program through Health Advocate provides resources and guidance to help members cope in these unprecedented conditions. Health Advocate also offers short-term counseling. Visit their website or call 1.877.240.6863.
  • Teladoc, the Plan’s telemedicine partner, also provides behavioral health services. Visit the Teladoc website or call 1.800.TELADOC (1.800.835.2362). The normal $10 copay for telemedicine services is waived through June 13.

Pension Boards Responds to COVID-19 Crisis Among Migrant Farmworkers

The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, as part of its social responsibility and advocacy efforts, joined with other faith-based investors, activists, and justice advocates to support the following petition, which called upon Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to protect the health of migrant farmworkers in Immokalee, an agricultural community in Florida, during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Signing this petition expresses the Pension Boards' voice of support to vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic, and adheres to our corporate social responsibility mission within the world of faith and finance to promote the need for basic human rights, not just for the Immokalee migrant workers, but for the world,” said the Rev. Richard Walters, PBUCC’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “As the church, may we rise together to raise our collective voices for those in great need.”

Click below to read the petition, and for links to related articles.


Employer Online Payment Portal

Employers have the option to pay invoices online. If you have not already set up an employer account on our website, click here to register for online bill payment. Select the New User link to register. You will need to have a valid email address on file with the Pension Boards. If we do not have a valid email address, please contact our Member Services team at 1.800.642.6543. If a valid email address is on file, follow the steps to set up your account and create a password. Once registered, follow the steps below to pay your invoice:

  • Select Billing.
  • Select View/Pay Bill to review your list of employees and invoice amounts.
  • If you agree with the total amount displayed, select Pay Now to pay your invoice.
  • Follow the prompts on the screen to set up your payments.

If you have any questions, please contact Member Services at the number listed above.

Member Services

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Our full Member Services staff team is available as before to take your calls and answer any questions you may have. They may be reached at 1.800.642.6543 as well as on the online chat function on our website.

During this time, please remember that you can fax or email documents and forms to us at 212.729.2701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., respectively, avoiding delays that may occur with postal mail.

Stay informed. Visit the Pension Boards’ website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.