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Brethren Benefit Trust Announces New Client Relations Department and Related Personnel Changes

“Serving the members and organizations of the Church of the Brethren is the directive Brethren Benefit Trust has been given by the Annual Conference,” said BBT president Nevin Dulabaum. “At the forefront of that service are strong relationships with the denomination’s members and organizations. Thus, the creation of a new department that focuses on service, product development, and resources for the benefit of those we serve will help ensure that BBT fulfills its mandate for years to come. This is an exciting new chapter in the life of BBT!”

Communication Informs About New IRS Rule on Pre-Tax Health Insurance Premium Contributions for Pastors, Church Workers

A communication with important information about how churches report their pastors’ (and lay employees’) income with regard to health insurance premiums is being sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation. The joint letter is from Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive of the Ministry Office, and Scott W. Douglas, BBT director of Employee Benefits. An additional letter from Douglas gives information about IRS rules for Section 105 HRA pre-tax insurance contributions.

Court Rules to ‘Vacate’ Clergy Housing Allowance Case

“We have good news to share!” said an update from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) about a court case that had the potential to seriously affect the tax status of clergy housing allowances. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the clergy housing allowance case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. is to be vacated (eliminated) and remanded (sent back) to the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin with instructions to dismiss the case. The court ruled that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring a complaint.

BBT Supports Church Alliance Filing of Amicus Brief in Clergy Housing Exclusion Case

The Church Alliance–a coalition of the chief executive officers of 38 denominational benefit programs including Church of the Brethren Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT)–has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals (Chicago) in the case challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing exclusion under Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code).

BBT Eliminates Position of Manager of Pension Operations

Given the ongoing challenges of providing a competitive and cost effective Pension Plan to members, Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has concluded that the agency needs to refocus resources. Therefore, BBT has taken another step to streamline the Benefits Department and has eliminated the position of Manager of Pension Operations, which has been held by John Carroll.

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