2020 news 1, the website of Pensions and Benefits USA, has been upgraded with a new appearance and useful tools to help ministers and other church employees access information they need to better understand issues that affect them financially.

Launched in early August, the site has been redesigned with a simplified menu that allows visitors to browse based on role, such as minister or lay employee, church treasurer, district office, etc. The search system has been refined to streamline responses to queries, and the site has been optimized for cell phone use, which, for many, has become a key tool for browsing.

“Our technical staff have been busy crafting our website into a more attractive and useful resource,” P&B Director Kevin P. Gilmore said. “More than just a new look, the site offers easier access to more data that can help visitors make better informed decisions about their financial future.”

Gilmore said the redesigned serves as a base for significant user tools that are now available or being launched by Pensions and Benefits USA. “The new will allow clergy, churches, and districts to access information in ways that have not been possible before online. Church employees will soon be able to view data from the General Secretary and our office such as role, assignment history, insurance, and retirement benefits. This will allow them to check for accuracy, as well as perform a variety of functions, such as applying for a pension, purchasing insurance, and adjusting beneficiaries."

Local churches and districts may already create and maintain contributions to the 403(b) retirement accounts of employees. Districts can also review information to update the status of pastors to assure accurate payment of Annual Pension Supplements (APS) to the accounts of ministers in their churches.

“PB Access” is the name of the online gateway that will allow church employees to review their benefits and apply for services. It is currently in beta testing and is expected to be rolled out to all U.S. church employees in the first half of 2021.