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November 20, 2019

His Hand in Every Season

By Don Wagner, Alliance Benefits

We rejoice in the Lord’s provision over these past few years and praise Him for the ways we’ve seen His hand in every situation and season of life. The Alliance Benefits team is privileged to serve the Alliance family and works daily with those in all different kinds of circumstances. We thought it would be helpful to provide a brief overview of the products we offer along with a financial update reflecting the evident ways of God’s goodness and care for His people.

The following information was reported to the Benefit Board at the September 2019 meeting.

The Alliance Health Plan At a Glance
The Alliance Health Plan is unique in that it is a self-funded, multi-employer church plan. The monthly premiums collected are used to pay for claims incurred by our participants. These premium dollars are used specifically and only for Alliance participants. There are more than 1,045 employees participating in both the domestic and international health plans. This brings our total coverage, including family members, to around 3,200 participants.

Over the past year, Alliance Benefits has added 36 newborns to the health plan and has helped 21 employees/pastors transition to retirement. From September 2018-2019, over 240 enrollments have been processed including 60 new International Workers in July!

The Alliance 403(b) Retirement Plan At a Glance
The 403(b) Retirement Plan is a “defined contribution” plan that was created to replace the Fellowship Fund in 2000. It is designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a “Church Plan”, which allows official workers of The Alliance to offset their housing costs against their retirement benefit. The Plan currently has over 3,600 participants which has grown consistently by 2-4% over the past five years.

Contributions continue to rise with an increase of 11 percent year to date. Combined employer and employee contributions so far this year have exceeded $10.2 million. With more than a total of $189 million dollars invested, the 403(b) Retirement Plan has 28 investment options including two values-based funds and 12 lifecycle index target date funds. Because of the size of our plan, not only do the investments have very low internal expenses, but the plan also has low fees compared to many you would find if you invested in an individual account on your own. Along with the plan’s advantageous structure, we are blessed to have amazing partners, like Strategic Financial Partners™, providing free consultations and assisting our participants as they plan for their financial futures.

The Alliance Fellowship Fund At a Glance
The Fellowship Fund, a “defined benefit” plan, started in 1937 and was frozen in 2000 when the 403(b) Retirement Plan was created. About 252 retirees currently receive benefit payments each month from the Fellowship Fund and allowances are based on years of service. Over the past three years, the Benefits Board has approved a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for each year.

The Alliance Retiree Life Insurance At a Glance
Alliance Benefits offers $7,500 of basic life insurance coverage to eligible retirees, which does not reduce with age. To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

  • Have at least 20 years of service with the C&MA
  • Must retire from the C&MA at age 65 or older and no longer be employed full-time by the C&MA
  • Be enrolled in the Alliance Health Plan life insurance at the time of retirement
  • Must inform Alliance Benefits within 30 days of your retirement

In the past year, Alliance Benefits on average processed 5-10 life insurance claims a month on behalf of our retirees who have passed away. It is an honor and a blessing to work with the families of those who have faithfully served The Alliance and have gone before us.

We hope you find this information helpful and insightful. If you have questions or would like more information about any of the products mentioned, feel free to contact Alliance Benefits.

 

Don became a part of the Alliance Benefits team in November 2015. He brought with him experience working in accounting and finance from other ministries — Compassion International and David C. Cook. Don and his wife, June, also served as tentmaker missionaries to Japan. As the Manager of Finance, he is responsible for overseeing the financial activities of the benefits office.


Posted in: 403(b) Plan Tools, Health Plan Tools, Insights