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March 18, 2021

Cybersecurity Tips for 403(b) Accounts

Like a roaring lion, today’s cybercriminals are prowling about online, seeking whose funds they can devour. Thankfully, applying a few simple tips goes a long way in protecting your employees’ 403(b) accounts from thieves. Following are some tips shared with us by Empower Retirement, a leading expert in retirement account cybersecurity. Empower takes the business [...]

February 24, 2021

Updating Your Beneficiaries and Why It Matters

Do you know who your beneficiaries are? With Alliance Benefits, this includes any life insurance, health savings account (HSA), or 403(b) retirement account you have. 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 that your designated beneficiaries [...]

February 18, 2021

Expanding Your Comfort Zone

I recently watched the rock-climbing documentary Free Solo. It’s the story of how Alex Honnold prepared to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the 3,000-foot face of the world’s most famous rock, El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park without a rope. What? One would think that to attempt such a climb he would need to have [...]

February 11, 2021

Upcoming Health and Retirement Plan Webinars

This month, we’d like to promote two free webinars especially designed for Alliance health and retirement plan members. The first webinar is next week and will focus on the new Employee Assistance Program. Workpartners and Alliance Benefits are excited to give an overview and answer questions about the free services available to our health plan participants. The [...]

January 27, 2021

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 our pastors and churches’ financial health. 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 partnership provides numerous [...]

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. [...]