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December 29, 2016

A friendly reminder that due to bank closures on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, if you're receiving a monthly payment from us, it will be posting to your bank account on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

December 29, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2017 standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents in 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents per mile in 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

December 15, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 15, 2016) - Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) President Todd Adams announced today first-quarter interest rates for Pension Fund account holders.

Pension Fund approved the following interest rates for the first quarter of 2017:

  • The Benefit Accumulation Account (BAA) rate remains at 2.5 percent
  • The Tax-Deferred Retirement Account (TDRA) rate remains at 3.5 percent
  • The Roth IRA rate remains at 3.5 percent
  • The Traditional IRA rate remains at 3.5 percent

Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) provides pension and retirement savings accounts for clergy and lay employees of congregations, regions, general ministries and church-related colleges and seminaries. Pension Fund manages over $2.8 billion in net assets on behalf of those served in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and related international ministries.

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December 5, 2016

With Christmas fast approaching, please note the following days and times that Pension Fund will be closed.

  • Dec. 9:  Early closing at 11:30 AM EST.  Distribution requests must be received by 9:00 AM EST in order to be processed same day.  All requests received after this time will be processed when the office re-opens Dec. 12.
  • Dec. 22:  Early closing at 3:00 PM EST. Distribution requests must be received by 12:00 PM EST.
  • Dec. 23 & 26: Closed all day
  • Jan. 2: Closed all day
November 23, 2016

Pension Fund seeks to keep you informed of our ever changing landscape for employment and benefits. Yesterday, a judge in east Texas issued an injunction blocking the changes to the Department of Labor (DOL) definitions of non-exempt and exempt employees (the increase in the minimum salary requirements). These changes were due to take effect on December 1, 2016.

This leaves many of us asking "What happens next?"  The injunction is "preliminary."  It provides the court with time to consider its final decision about whether the new regulations are legally permissible, and (arguably) avoids the problems that would be caused if the regulations were implemented and then retracted. 

The Department of Labor faces an uphill battle with the Texas court and is considering its options.  It could appeal the decision within 60 days (this timeframe may be extended).   A Fifth Circuit judge could potentially stay the injunction pending a decision on the appeal.  If the DOL does not appeal the preliminary injunction, the Texas District Court could still reconsider its reasoning for the preliminary injunction and decide not to issue a permanent injunction.  If the court issues a preliminary injunction, the DOL could then appeal that decision. 

Bottom line: Employers cannot rely on this preliminary injunction becoming permanent and should have a plan in place to implement necessary changes should a court lift the injunction.

One additional question is "What do I do if we've already given a raise effective 12/1/16?" This is an ethical question that each employer will need to answer. Employers should keep in mind the need for a plan referenced above.

Specially, for the church, the DOL definitions do not apply to clergy under the ministerial exemption, for program staff who instruct the faith and church music staff.

Below are some resources for your consideration, keeping in mind Pension Fund does not offer legal or tax advice. However, you are free to share this with others.

http://churchlawgroup.com/resources/blog/new-overtime-regulations/
https://www.churchmutual.com/media/safetyResources/files/BestEmploymentPractices.pdf

 

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