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 workers with an introduction to the WELS Shepherd Plan and how the new defined contributions can be used.

The third video provides sponsoring organizations with the actions to be taken to support their workers and the new defined contribution plan.

The following is a summary of the main actions for organizations and workers to take to prepare for the new defined contribution plan:

  1. WELS sponsoring organizations will need to join the WELS Shepherd Plan as of January 1, 2022 if they have not already;
  2. WELS sponsoring organizations should create participant accounts on the WELS Shepherd Plan website for their eligible workers who do not already have Shepherd Plan participant accounts based on their service at their current organizations; and
  3. Called workers should log in to their WELS Shepherd Plan participant accounts to verify demographic information, select investment allocations for their new defined contributions, and select beneficiaries.

The WELS Benefit Plans Office and the Hahn Financial Group are happy to help with questions that you may have regarding the upcoming changes. For questions regarding the new defined contribution plan and the WELS Pension Plan, including contributions and billing, please contact the Benefit Plans Office by calling 414-256-3299 or emailing [email protected]. For questions regarding the WELS Shepherd Plan and how sponsoring organizations can enroll and create participant accounts, please contact the Hahn Financial Group by calling 1-800-516-4246 or emailing [email protected].

In addition, a comprehensive “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page, as well as a benefit comparison tool to help workers to compare their potential benefits at retirement under the current and new programs, are available at the links below.