Who We Are & What We Do
PCA Retirement & Benefits, Inc. (RBI) is a denominational agency of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). RBI administers and serves as trustee, plan sponsor and/or policyholder of several benefit plans established by the PCA to provide retirement, disability and life insurance protection for pastors, missionaries and employees of PCA churches and of organizations controlled by or associated with the PCA. As an entity, RBI began performing administrative duties in July of 2002 and trustee duties in June of 2003, assuming these responsibilities, respectively, from Insurance, Annuities and Relief (IAR), a predecessor agency of the PCA established in 1982, and its 12-member volunteer Board of Trustees.
Although it is an agency of the PCA covered by the PCA’s federal group-tax-exemption determination, RBI has its own federal and state tax identification numbers. As a PCA agency, RBI is subject to the provisions of the PCA Rules of Assembly Operations and the PCA Corporate Bylaws.
RBI has a volunteer Board of Directors. Each year, the PCA General Assembly elects a class of directors to serve four-year terms on this governing board. The directors must be teaching elders, ruling elders, or deacons in the PCA and must have been nominated by their local presbyteries.
In addition to handling customer and client services, marketing and enrollments, RBI hires, contracts with, and oversees more than 40 different vendors required to administer the PCA programs. The investment managers, investment consultants, legal firms, insurance agencies, third-party administrators, custodial banks, audit firms, insurance carriers, printing company and web firm require significant coordination but help RBI ensure good stewardship in managing its programs.
The PCA benefit plan assets are held in trust accounts at custodial banks and managed by professional investment managers under the guidelines of the RBI Investment Committee. Below are general descriptions of the PCA benefit plans. Participants should refer to the various plan documents for more complete information on the plans’ provisions. None of the plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) because of church sponsorship.
Retirement Trust Funds
Retirement funds are contributed to the Presbyterian Church in America 403(b)(9) Retirement Plan, also known as the PCA Retirement Plan. Formerly the PCA Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan, the PCA Retirement Plan was adopted and became effective January 1, 1983. The PCA has named RBI trustee of the Trust. RBI is also the Plan administrator and acts as co-Plan sponsor along with each PCA employer.
PCA employers may contribute funds for some or all of their employees. An employee may contribute to his or her account by executing a salary reduction agreement with his or her employer. These contributions to the PCA Retirement Plan can be made on a “before tax” or “after tax” basis. The Plan specifies maximum contributions to each participant’s account in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations. All contributions credited to any participant account are fully vested and nonforfeitable. Administrative expenses are taken out of each investment fund. Net asset values are allocated to participant accounts. Participants are entitled to a benefit from the Plan equal to their account balance.
Health and Welfare Trust Funds
The Health and Welfare Benefit Trust was established on June 17, 1983, to provide funding for plans offering health, disability and life insurance protection for all participants. The PCA has named RBI trustee of the Trust, and RBI operates as policyholder of each of the fully-insured plans. As of December 31, 2008, all outside insurance companies used by RBI were ranked in the upper tier of the ratings utilized by independent insurance rating organizations. All insurance plans are contributory, providing life insurance coverage and long-term disability benefits to full-time employees (30 hours or more per week), their beneficiaries and covered dependents. Insurance premiums are normally paid by employers but in some cases may be paid through payroll deduction.
MetLife is the group term life insurance carrier, effective October 1, 2003. Life insurance claims are processed in cooperation with the carrier. Life insurance premiums are determined annually by the Directors based on negotiated contracts with the carrier plus RBI trustee fees. Effective April 1, 2008, Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment (VAD&D) insurance also became available to PCA employees and their dependents.
Long Term Disability Insurance
Unum Group is the long term disability carrier, effective January 1, 2003. Disability claims are processed by the carrier. Disability insurance premiums are determined annually by the Directors based on negotiated contracts with the carrier plus RBI trustee fees.
Ameritas is the dental insurance carrier, effective January 1, 2011. Dental insurance premiums are determined annually by the Directors based on negotiated contracts with the carrier plus RBI trustee fees.
WellPoint BlueView Vision is the vision insurance carrier, effective January 1, 2011. Vision insurance premiums are determined annually by the Directors based on negotiated contracts with the carrier plus RBI trustee fees.
Property and Liability Insurance
RBI has endorsed a property and liability insurance program for churches and other entities in the PCA. Since November 2000, this program has been provided through GuideOne Insurance Company. In addition to property and liability coverage, GuideOne offers workers compensation, business auto and umbrella liability coverage. RBI’s role is one of endorsement only.
Long Term Care
RBI endorses two optional long term care insurance programs for PCA churches and church-related organizations. The first, the Unum Long-Term Care Plan, is available for those with 10 employees or more. This plan offers guaranteed coverage for the group and requires that the employer provide a small base level of coverage ($1,000) for all full-time employees.
The second is a non-group, individual long term care solution through LTC Financial Partners. This plan is designed for (i) individuals working for PCA organizations with fewer than 10 employees seeking coverage, (ii) those working at larger PCA organizations that do not provide an employer-paid benefit, or (iii) those needing more specialized coverage.
Also a part of the Health and Welfare Benefit Trust, the original Relief Fund was established to receive donations and investment income for providing financial assistance to those who have such a need as determined by the Directors. Included as a part of the Relief Fund, the Timothy Fund was established for the benefit of PCA retired, disabled or needy ministers or their survivors. Although the original Relief Fund donor intended that benefits be awarded from fund earnings only, principal may be used in whole or in part at the discretion of the Directors, if necessary.
Other relief funds created for specific purposes include the Widows’ Fund, the Medical Fund, the Education Fund, and the WIC Fund. In 1998, the Health Insurance Assistance Fund was established to provide payment of up to three months of health insurance premiums for pastors without call who demonstrate financial need. In 2000, the Disabled Pastors’ Health Insurance Assistance Fund was established to provide partial payment of health insurance premiums for disabled pastors. In 2008, the Survivor Assistance Fund was established to provide one-time financial assistance to Teaching Elder families after the death of either spouse.