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Planning For Your Future is Extremely Important

Planning For Your Future is Extremely Important
02 Mar 2019 by Tricia Ginis

Planning For Your Future is Extremely Important

If you are a Director or Assistant Director member of ECE-RJ you have access to the Reform Pension Board (RPB). At the recent 2019 San Antonio conference, Alyce Gunn, Chief Financial Officer at RPB, shared some information with our attendees that I thought was important to share.

Did you know?

  1. If someone is eligible to participate in the RPB (i.e., ECE-RJ member, Director of Education, working for URJ congregation), the person can participate regardless of whether their employer makes an employer contribution.  Employees can contribute their own money via elective salary deferrals up to the IRS maximum annual amount, which for the 2019 calendar year is $25,000.  The only requirement is that the employer would have to send the money to the RPB on the employee’s behalf since contributions must be made as part of payroll (i.e., employees cannot send  money directly, like they would to an IRA).
  2. The RPB offers employees the ability to contribute elective deferrals on either a pre-tax basis (traditional) or a post-tax (Roth) basis.  The advantage to making Roth contributions is that contributions and earnings will be tax-free in retirement.  Roth 403(b) plans are not subject to compensation maximums like Roth IRAs are, and they have higher contribution maximums than IRAs.
  3. The RPB recently undertook a fee benchmarking study which showed that its fees are very competitive.  90% of other 403(b) retirement plans are more expensive to participate in than the RPB, whether looking at administrative fees or investment fees (which are often embedded in a fund’s daily price).  Fees can be a detractor to long term performance/growth; they matter when comparing plans.  This is important when choosing between the RPB plan and an alternate plan offered by the congregation for their general staff.
  4. The Reform Jewish Values Fund – the only socially responsible fund in the market using the resolutions of the CCAR, URJ and CSA-RJ as the basis for investments – is only available through the RPB’s plan.
  5. The RPB’s investment line-up ranges from professionally managed, diversified funds to self-directed Vanguard index funds.  All funds track well to their performance benchmarks.
  6. Employees who contribute at a rate of 10% or more of their compensation (combined employer and employee contributions), automatically receive up to $50,000 of group term life insurance and $30,000 of accidental death & dismemberment insurance at no extra cost.  Employees whopurchase LTD insurance also qualify for free contribution insurance which ensures that the employer contribution continues to be made to their retirement account while out on disability (after the requisite waiting period is met).
  7. The RPB plan is portable from one Reform congregation to another.  There is no requirement that participants roll their money out of the RPB if they stop working in the Reform Movement  retire, however they are unable to make additional contributions.  RPB can hold and service a participant’s money through their entire life, if they wish.
  8. RPB offers very personalized service, especially in retirement.  Their customer service team knows participants by name and will take the time to discuss whatever issues might be on one’s mind.  The only thing the RPB cannot do is provide investment or tax advice to a participant.