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July 1, 2020

Market Comment

The last few months have certainly been a roller coaster ride in a macroeconomic sense but also in each of our own lives emotionally and psychologically. A steadfast mindset is the vehicle that gets us all to our financial destination, regardless of the turns, steep mountain passes, and bumps along the way.  The below chart [...]

June 24, 2020

Retirement Plan Enhancements

Here at Alliance Benefits, we’re always exploring new ways to improve our processes and enhance our plans to help serve you better in the future. While technology in benefits is continually evolving, it is essential we keep our operations current and focused on serving our people in the best way possible. I want to take [...]

June 16, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program Amendments

The amendments were signed into law on Friday, June 5, 2020. Since being established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been the subject of additional stimulus bills, legal guidance and interim final rules. In the latest development, Congress passed [...]

June 3, 2020

Some Good News

Technology is so cool! Apple has been tracking the number of direction requests on their app across the globe every week (the peaks are the busiest day of the week and the valleys are usually Sundays). They took the data back to before the crisis, so we have a baseline. This baseline represents a thriving [...]

May 12, 2020

Traditional vs. Roth 403(B) Contributions

Under normal circumstances, tax season would be behind us, and we’d be looking ahead to the summer months. Of course, things are anything but normal. This year, tax season has been extended all the way into mid-summer. But even though the IRS deadline has been moved to July 15, taxes are always an important consideration [...]

April 15, 2020

Market Comment

I’m pretty sure we’ve been in quarantine too long because now we’re constructing our own graphs! We have two things to share with you. The first is a long-standing visual that JP Morgan provides each year. It uses the S&P 500 as a proxy to illustrate how impactful missing just a few of the best [...]

April 8, 2020

The CARES Act

On Friday, March 27, after a lot of political jostling, late-night compromise, and a quick signature from the President, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was passed and implemented into law. This legislation contains a very broad spectrum of relief and I’ve done my best to summarize it below. While [...]

March 31, 2020

Retirement Plan: Match Relief Instructions

Below are specific instructions regarding the recent match relief announcement available to participating churches, along with an update about submitting forms through our new online submission portal. Requesting Optional Match Relief for Employer Contributions: For April, May and June – please submit changes by the 1st of the month to allow extra time for processing. [...]

March 25, 2020

Important Health and Retirement Plan Updates

Dear Alliance Health and Retirement Plan Employers, I’m sure you have been inundated with dozens of mass emails, countless messages, and numerous webinars and conference calls from businesses, partners, and vendors about their response to the current health crisis impacting our nation. I don’t have to tell you that we are living in an unprecedented [...]

March 17, 2020

Market Comment

In my humble opinion, “perspective” is one of the most elusive human mindsets. Even normal everyday life tends to grind us down to ground zero and we can find ourselves frustrated with even the smallest of issues. Then, we encounter more acute moments that vault us into dangerous mental territory. Under either scenario, minor or [...]

February 25, 2020

Market Comment

It’s a cold and snowy day here in the Rockies—perhaps the sun is shining a bit brighter wherever you may be on this Tuesday afternoon. It’s been a rough ride over the past 36 hours in the capital markets. Investors woke up on Monday, February 24, 2020, to unpleasant news that the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues [...]

February 12, 2020

Free Financial Health Resources

Since 2018, The Alliance has partnered with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Lilly Foundation with an initiative that helps strengthen the financial health of our pastors and churches. Whether it’s time for a financial health checkup, budget adjustments to address life changing situations, or a plan to achieve long term goals, our [...]

January 29, 2020

The SECURE Act

On December 20th, President Trump signed a key piece of legislation impacting retirement plans across America. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, or SECURE Act (Don’t you just love how politicians like to give catchy names to every piece of legislation?), was signed into law as part of the 2020 Spending Bill [...]

January 22, 2020

2020 IRS Contribution Limits

Now that it’s January, perhaps you are curious what you can contribute to your 403(b) and your HSA for 2020. Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions If you are on an HSA-eligible health insurance, such as the Alliance Health Plan, here are the IRS maximums you can contribute to your HSA. Employee and employer HSA contributions [...]

January 16, 2020

W-2 Filing for Clergy and Church Employees

When it comes to preparing taxes, there are a few important things to note when filing tax forms for clergy and church employees. We’ve compiled a list of answers to common W-2 questions typically received around this time of year. We hope you find this information helpful in the midst of tax-filing season! Clergy compensation [...]

December 31, 2019

And the Awards Go To…

The 2019 year is coming to an end and a new decade is quickly approaching. Before we close this chapter, we wanted to take the time to reflect and highlight a few achievements accomplished by some of our vendors and those in Alliance Benefits. We congratulate them for a job well done and consider it [...]

December 5, 2019

Balancing Retirement and Health Savings

Saving money for healthcare and building retirement funds at the same time can be challenging. With health-care costs on the rise, the competition for dollars can be overwhelming and knowing which account to contribute to and when can be confusing. If you are enrolled in the Alliance Retirement Plan, did you know that you have [...]

November 20, 2019

His Hand in Every Season

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 [...]

October 30, 2019

403(b) Plan: Includible Compensation

Here at Alliance Benefits we do all that we can to serve our pastors and their staff with their Alliance health insurance and retirement plans. A common question we get asked is about what types of compensation are included when calculating 403(b) contribution percentages. We want to be sure all of our pastors are treated [...]

October 24, 2019

A Note of Appreciation

Fall is here. The beauty of God’s handiwork is evident in the change happening all around us in His creation. More specifically, it’s October and that means it is Pastor Appreciation Month.  At Alliance Benefits, we recognize that ministry is hard. Our Alliance pastors, missionaries, and chaplains work long hours, serve generously, and love on their people in ways that [...]

September 18, 2019

Saving Together

Unpredictability—here on earth it’s the one thing about the future we can all agree on. Day-to-day challenges keep most churches and ministries struggling to keep up, let alone thinking ahead to the future. For some, retirement may seem like a long way off. For others, it is just around the corner. Regardless, saving for retirement [...]

August 7, 2019

Economic Commentary

Due to some of the market gyration recently and the particularly downtrodden doom-and-gloom headlines this week, we all need a dose of fundamental perspective about our economy. Enjoy the short communication below! The U.S. Consumer Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the measure of all economic activity over a certain period of time and is the [...]

July 30, 2019

Know Your Limits

Did you know you are limited to how much you can contribute to the Alliance 403(b) Retirement Plan each calendar year? You’re also limited to how much you can put into your Alliance Health Savings Account (HSA). The IRS sets contribution limits to all kinds of retirement and savings plans, and the Alliance plans are [...]

July 16, 2019

Road Trip to Retirement

I’m sure the last time you were on a road trip you likely used some form of GPS to tell you right where you were. It may have even told you how far you had to go and what time you would likely arrive or if there was an accident ahead, right? Wouldn’t it be [...]

June 18, 2019

Benefits in the News

Alliance Benefits is committed to bringing you important updates from around the benefits world as it pertains to our Alliance family. Two recent items in the news are good examples of policy and legislation that could positively impact our plans and our community. For those participating in the Alliance Health Plan, you may be interested [...]

May 22, 2019

Council Week

This weekend, like most Americans, you will hopefully be enjoying your 3-day weekend and, very rightfully, remembering and honoring those who gave their lives for our country as part of your Memorial Day celebrations. While we will most certainly be joining you in that, many of your Alliance Benefits team members will also be preparing [...]

May 7, 2019

Brief Market Comment

The below visual is a great illustration of how many perceived market “crises” and headline-important events occur over a relatively short time period.  We are constantly inundated by news headlines that foretell disaster and calamities, all intended to strike the fear chord thereby attracting more viewers/readers/listeners; good news and positive information unfortunately just doesn’t sell.  [...]

April 3, 2019

ALERT: Pastors and Churches Win Major Victory in Housing Allowance Court Case

On March 15th, our Alliance Official Workers were the recipients of some very welcomed news related to a highly critical court case that has jeopardized a major tax benefit for our ministers over the last several years.  The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a 2017 ruling from the lower district court that [...]

March 29, 2019

Brief Market Comment

Throughout the year we will attend a few high-quality educational conventions. We thought you might enjoy a sampling of some of the interesting data discussed. We will unpack two brief topics:  A Case for Staying Invested There were 672 months from 1/1/62 to 12/31/18. The S&P500 which represents 500 publicly traded companies as a general [...]

March 1, 2019

Going Mobile with Your Benefits

Back in the year 2012, it was predicted that “In 2020…there will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web will be less important and useful than in the past and apps will be the dominant factor in people’s lives.” Pew Research Internet Project The mobile era is here. The number of app users [...]

February 21, 2019

Church Treasurer Tips: Processing 403(b) Roth Type Employee Contributions

We here at Alliance Benefits are proud to be able to offer an excellent retirement 403(b)(9) church plan that helps take care of our pastors and staff with their retirement needs. One nice option the Alliance 403(b) plan offers is Roth employee contributions. If that option is chosen however, be sure to know how to [...]

January 31, 2019

Updating Your Beneficiaries: Why It Matters

Do you know who your beneficiaries are? With Alliance Benefits, this would include any life insurance, health savings account (HSA), or 403(b) retirement account you are currently enrolled in. For many people, naming beneficiaries happens when first setting up the account or policy. However, when life changes occur (birth, marriage, death, etc.), you may find [...]

November 1, 2017

Joining Together For Lower Fees

We are better together, and can realize far greater success when we work together to reach our common goals (or in some cases our uncommon goals) as we partner for His Kingdom. Planning for retirement is certainly a goal we all share. We want our Alliance family to be aware of every opportunity: by joining [...]

May 24, 2017

Top Tax Errors to Avoid

Alliance Benefits would like to make you aware of common tax errors to avoid. We are deeply grateful for our skilled and conscientious church treasurers who work so hard. Forms and reporting may seem mundane, but this vital “staying with the baggage” ministry helps to protect the church and pastor financially and legally. (see I Samuel [...]