Entries by WELS Benefit Plans Office

No Surprises Act

The No Surprises Act was enacted to protect health plan members from surprise billing after receiving certain services from out-of-network providers. The WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan (the “Plan”) provides health benefits to eligible WELS/ELS workers and their eligible dependents.  The Plan is required by law to notify members of their protections against surprise […]

Helping Workers and Organizations Prepare for the 2022 WELS Retirement Program Changes

Following the 2021 synod convention’s endorsement of the WELS Pension Plan freeze and transition to a defined contribution plan in 2022, WELS has produced the following three videos to help called workers and sponsoring organizations prepare for the upcoming changes. The first video summarizes the upcoming WELS Retirement Program changes. The second video provides called […]

2022 WELS VEBA Health Plan Limited Open Enrollment

WELS VEBA provides health benefits for workers at WELS and ELS calling bodies across the country.  The above video provides information on the important advantages of WELS VEBA.  A flyer highlighting the main points discussed in the video is available for download here.  We encourage you to share this video and flyer with fellow workers and […]

2022 WELS VEBA Health Plan Rates

The 2022 premium rates for the WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan will not change compared to the current 2021 rates.  The 2021 rates for all WELS VEBA health plan options will remain in effect for 2022.  The WELS VEBA health plan has experienced better-than-expected claims costs and investment returns over the past two years, which […]

Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement

The WELS Benefit Plans Office understands that some WELS VEBA plan members have received a notification regarding the settlement of a lawsuit in which Blue Cross Blue Shield was a party.  The notification provides that individual plan members may have the opportunity to participate in the settlement and file a claim. Resources are available from […]

Proposed changes to WELS retirement program 2021

June 2021 Update:  WELS held two webinars, one on June 3 and another on June 8, to inform 2021 synod convention delegates regarding the proposed changes and allow delegates to ask questions.  A replay of the June 8 webinar is available at this link. A retirement strategy committee was appointed in 2017 and has done […]

2021 WELS Benefit Plans Summary

The following provides a summary of the WELS Benefit Plans for 2021 and information to help newly-hired workers begin participating in the plans. WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan (WELS VEBA) WELS Pension Plan WELS Shepherd Plan WELS VEBA To participate in WELS VEBA, a new worker must enroll within 60 days of his/her employment start […]

2021 WELS Pension Plan Contribution Rates

The 2021 contribution rates for the WELS Pension Plan will not change compared to the current 2020 rates.  Maintaining the 2020 contribution rates will adequately fund projected Plan benefits and expenses in 2021. The WELS Retirement Program Commission is pleased to provide this rate stability to help support WELS ministry efforts while maintaining the Plan’s […]

Retirement Benefits and Housing Allowance for Ministers of the Gospel

Effective July 1, 2020, WELS announced a change in its interpretation of the workers who may be considered “ministers of the gospel” for federal tax purposes, which was based on a thorough investigation and legal opinion from a nationally recognized expert in this area of tax law.  Read the WELS announcement here. Distributions from the […]

WELS Pension Contribution Holiday – October 2020

The WELS Retirement Program Commission is pleased to announce a one-quarter contribution holiday for the WELS Pension Plan (the “Plan”). No Plan contributions will be due for the October-December 2020 quarter.  Active workers will continue to earn Plan benefits for eligible service performed during the October-December 2020 quarter, and Plan benefits will continue to be […]