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May Treasurers Newsletter

By May 1, 2024May 15th, 2024Newsletters

The 2023 Annual Report is Here!

GSI is pleased to release the 2023 ELCIC Pension Plan Annual Report. Here’s a brief introduction from the Board Chair, John Wolff:

The Annual Pension Plan Report for 2023 is presented with the theme of windows, a metaphor that is appropriate in several ways. When we are looking through a window, we can see the possibilities that exist beyond our current setting. This view is framed by the sill and slightly obscured by the glass; it is not a complete picture, as we might have if we were actually out in the environment.

Likewise, this Report presents a specific, one-year view of the ELCIC Pension Plan. This view can be very helpful for projecting into the future when Members will access their pensions — but the amount that will be available at retirement will depend on many factors and multiple years of investment results.

Please take a few moments to read the report and be informed about your employees’ pension plan.

Supporting Plan Members

Medical Absence

It is our philosophy to support plan members in health and financial security. The GSI-sponsored plan aims to create an environment of wellness and engagement through awareness and acceptance of health challenges. To this end the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan includes a short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefit in the LifePlus bundle. The policy and an employer guide are provided on the Life Events page on the GSI website.

When your employee is away from work due to medical reasons (physical or mental), the absence should be reported to GSI as soon as you are aware that the absence will extend beyond two weeks (waiting period for STD).

Usage Data

Over the last five years, an average of 14 plan members per year have received STD benefits. While historically over 80% returned to work within the 15 weeks of STD benefit, in the last two years, half of the STD cases continued to LTD. Some members on LTD return to work gradually, partially or fully; however, most do not. At the end of 2023, 4.7% of eligible Plan Members were receiving LTD benefits, which is very high compared to the industry average of 0.7%.

GSI is working to support you, as Treasurer — and your congregation — to navigate medical absences, as we recognize that this is a challenging time and typically an unfamiliar area. Please reach out with all your questions.

Member & Family Assistance Plan

Another way to support Plan Members is with the Member & Family Assistance Plan (MFAP). This plan has been in place since 1998 and is accessed by Plan Members for short-term support for a variety of concerns. In 2023 the top presenting indicators were:

  • depression
  • grief
  • anxiety
  • and parenting.

Annual utilization of the plan ranges from 4% to 12% of eligible Plan Members.

The MFAP is regularly updated to offer support and therapy for emerging issues. If your employee is struggling, consider a gentle reminder that support is available with the MFAP.

GSI at Your Synodical Gathering in 2024

2024 is a year for Synod Conventions/Assemblies, and GSI will be there! Staff and Board Directors are planning to be present and are looking forward to meeting you and other Plan Members there.

As part of our ongoing effort to promote wellness in the ELCIC, we will be having a HeartMath® practitioner at our display. The HeartMath Institute has done research to show how heart rate variability (HRV) is tied to your health, your biological age, and your stress levels. Using special equipment, the practitioner will be able to measure your HRV and explain what this tells you about your health and emotions.

You are invited to check out the display and pick up a cool GSI packable shopping bag!

Learn more about the science of HeartMath on the HeartMath Institute’s website.

HeartMath® at Your Synodical Gathering

Dates are probable but subject to change. It is anticipated that the person will be at the display from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.

MNO (Selkirk, MB): May 25
SK (Saskatoon, SK): May 31
Eastern (Mississauga, ON): June 21
BC (Vancouver, BC): June 21
ABT (Edmonton, AB): June 23

Measuring HRV only takes a couple of minutes, so no appointments are required. The practitioner will also be at the display during less busy times for those who wish for a more in-depth discussion about how improving HRV can reduce stress.

Are You New to This Role?

If you are new to the role of Treasurer and would like some help understanding our monthly invoice or the process, please call Barb at 1-877-352-4147. You’re welcome to call even if you’re not new but could use a refresher.

The Items of Note in the November 2023 Treasurer News included a number of tips and reminders that could be useful to someone new in the role. 

Have a Question for GSI?

We welcome your questions and feedback!

Information and resources can also be found on the GSI website.
Winnipeg Residents: 204-984-9181 | Toll Free: 1-877-352-4247