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January 21, 2021

Washington News and the Impact on Benefit Plans

By the time this article is published, a new President of the United States will be inaugurated. I don’t have to tell you that our nation’s current political landscape is rife with division, distrust, and resentment on both sides of the fence. Of course, my job isn’t to give you my opinion on voting or [...]

January 6, 2021

A Year-End Market Commentary

A century ago, during the Spanish Flu of 1918, the world had approximately 1.5 billion people. This virus infected roughly 500 million, a full 1/3 of the entire global population. Ultimately and tragically, the Spanish Flu took the lives of an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 certainly did not come near that [...]

December 2, 2020

His Hand in All Seasons

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 [...]

November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving Wishes

Dear friends, As we approach Thanksgiving, we take time to recognize the goodness of God amidst the challenges of these trying days. I’m reminded of Psalm 27, where David cries out to God in verse 3, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear.” We have been “besieged” by so many things this [...]

November 19, 2020

New and Updated Online Resources

An essential goal of Alliance Benefits is to provide our members with great resources that are not only beneficial but current and easy to navigate. We’ve been busy updating and creating content on our website relating to the health and retirement plans, Medicare, and Spanish materials. We understand that finding information, especially regarding your available [...]

November 10, 2020

Are You on Track for Retirement?

When planning for retirement, it’s safe to say that most individuals would likely want to maintain their current living standard once retired. Replacing annual earnings requires a significant and ongoing dedication to saving and preserving your current lifestyle down the road. Sometimes we need a few signposts to guide us along the way, and finding [...]

October 29, 2020

Avoiding 403(B) Errors on Your Paystub

If you are a pastor, chances are you love encouraging your church members, creating your next sermon series, or brainstorming new ways to reach your community. It’s just a wild hunch, but we’re guessing that double-checking your 403(b) contributions are not all that high on your list of pastoral things to do! For us in Alliance [...]

September 30, 2020

Our Consultants Have a New Name!

We are excited to announce that your 403(b)-retirement plan consulting team, formerly under the name of Strategic Financial Partners, has branched out and created a new firm—Steadfast Wealth Co.! While the firm name is different, access to the same advisors and associates you have grown to know and respect over the years remains. Steadfast Wealth [...]

September 9, 2020

A Commentary on the Election and Investing

French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once wrote: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” This quote closely translates to “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” We’ll concede this feels like a stretch in the context of today’s environment. Still, one constant that holds fast is that it felt like a stretch [...]

August 19, 2020

Participant Investments Reaches Milestone

Despite the recent market volatility and thanks to committed long-term investing, the Alliance Retirement Plan continues to increase. We are excited to announce that participant investments together have reached a noteworthy milestone of over $200 million! We celebrate this great news and praise God for His faithful provision and giving us yet another example of [...]

August 6, 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness Updates

In early July, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) took a quick poll asking members, “What is your ministry’s single greatest resource need at this time?”. The overwhelming response was for more guidance surrounding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness rules. ECFA once again delivered an excellent webinar on this topic. Over 2,000 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]