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Portico Steps Up Support for Financial Decision-making

Jan. 20, 2017

This month, Portico Benefit Services began notifying sponsored plan members about new opportunities they now have to strengthen their financial decision-making. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, Portico began offering plan members sponsored by an ELCA employer access to:

  • An expanded wellness challenge that rewards attention to financial health
  • In-house Portico financial planners
  • An online retirement planning tool designed specifically for ELCA plan members

Rev. Jeff Thiemann, president and CEO of Portico Benefit Services, explains why this added support for financial decision-making is so important. “For two decades, Portico has been a leading voice in the ELCA connecting the importance of physical, emotional, and financial health to ministry. With growing appreciation for the impact money has on our health and overall well-being, we decided this was the year to reward attention to financial health with wellness dollars. I think most would agree, when we address our financial realities, we’re more likely to feel calmer, more confident about our future, and better able to guide others through financial challenges.”

Thiemann considers support for financial decision-making from Portico a natural extension of the relationship the organization has with its members. “Portico is already their financial partner for life. We manage their ELCA retirement savings as well as the 20 ELCA investment funds, and provide them with health, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage.”

Expanded Live Well Challenge Rewards Attention to Financial Health

To reinforce the importance of tending one’s financial health and to motivate sponsored members to use the new Retirement Planning Tool, Portico is expanding its annual wellness challenge to address financial as well as physical and emotional well-being. This year, as part of the LiveWell Challenge, sponsored members with ELCA-Primary health benefits will have the opportunity to earn wellness dollars for using the new tool and for making a healthy change related to their financial life.

Portico Financial Planner Line Staffed by People Who Understand Ministry

A team of in-house credentialed financial planners is now available to provide financial guidance at no cost to sponsored plan members via their financial planning benefit. They offer unbiased help with retirement planning, adjusting investments over time, saving for life goals like college or a home, and tackling issues related to budgeting, taxes, and debt management.

As ELCA plan members themselves, Portico planners understand the blessings and challenges of ministry. They are salaried Portico professionals who don’t work on commission and are fully knowledgeable about ELCA investment funds, including the ELCA social purpose funds.

Portico is rolling this service out to its membership gradually, starting with members who are currently sponsored by an ELCA employer. The Portico Financial Planner Line is replacing financial planning assistance previously offered by Ernst & Young. Retired plan members and others with a retirement account balance will continue to access the financial planning benefit through Ernst & Young, and will transition to the Portico Financial Planner Line later in the year.

Retirement Planning Tool Designed Specifically for ELCA Plan Members

Portico designed this new online Retirement Planning Tool in collaboration with DST, a leading investment technology provider, to give ELCA plan members a way to put their retirement savings on track and feel more confident about their future. Members can use the tool to see if they’re saving enough for retirement and consider making changes such as saving more, retiring at a different age, and changing their ELCA retirement account investment strategy. They’ll get a recommended plan — including recommended investment allocations and pretax retirement contributions — that they can implement right away, or save to customize and implement later.

“Effective retirement planning is consistently identified as a major component of achieving or improving financial wellness,” says Brooks Rankin, CFP®, manager of the new Portico Financial Planner Line. “We created this tool so that our members have the means to build a customized retirement plan that is based on their unique circumstances and also offers the opportunity to track their progress and revisit their choices at least annually.”

About Portico Benefit Services
Neither Portico Benefit Services nor the funds it manages are subject to registration, regulation, or reporting under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or state securities laws. Members, therefore, will not be afforded the protections of those provisions of those laws and related regulations. You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds are subject to risk. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance. See the ELCA Investment Fund Descriptions for more information about our funds.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP®(with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

For more information, contact Portico at 800.352.2876.