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Financial Services & Support

MORE FLEXIBILITY FOR CHURCHES IN REIMBURSING EMPLOYEES’ MEDICAL EXPENSES IN 2017

The 21st Century Cures Act recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama allows an exception for small employers from the rules limiting Health Reimbursement Arrangements to employer-sponsored group health plans.

Subtitle D, Other Provisions, Sec. 18001 of the act provides.

  • Exception from group health plan requirements for qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements.
  • Exempts small employers who operate qualified Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) from the penalties imposed by Obamacare through rules relating to “group health plans.”
  • To qualify, an HRA would need to supplement existing health coverage of an employee, and reimbursement payments to any given employee would be capped at $4,950 ($10,000, if an HRA also provides for reimbursements for an employee’s family members), indexed for inflation.

This change allows a church employer with fewer than 50 full-time employees to provide non-taxed reimbursement of medical expenses from church funds even if the employees do not have group coverage through the church.

For additional information go, click here.

2017 STANDARD BUSINESS MILEAGE RATE

The IRS has announced the 2017 standard business mileage rate will decrease to 53.5 cents per mile (down from 54 cents per mile in 2016).  The mileage for medical or moving purposes also decreases to 17 cents (down from 19 cents in 2016).  The mileage rate for charitable driving remains the same at 14 cents per mile. For more information, click here.

Please contact Jeff Cranford with any questions.

Providing church staff and lay leaders with the information they need to insure adequate and appropriately structured financial support for church employees is a vital aspect of the Empowering Leaders Developing Ministry. Jeff Cranford serves as the field service and education consultant for churches and associations in the areas of compensation planning, church and clergy taxes, and retirement and insurance.

Upcoming Events

Tax and Compensation Planning Seminars:

Date/TimeEvent
February 27, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
First Baptist Church Dillwyn, Dillwyn
March 2, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
Dan River Association Office, Halifax
March 6, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke
March 9, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Stafford
March 14, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
Abingdon Baptist Church, Abingdon
March 16, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tax & Compensation Planning Seminar
Harrisonburg Baptist Church, Harrisonburg

Retirement Planning Seminars and Conferences:

Date/TimeEvent
May 9, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Preparing for Retirement Seminar
Virginia Baptist Resource Center, Richmond, VA 23294
May 15, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Preparing for Retirement Seminar
Dan River Association Office, Halifax
May 18, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Preparing for Retirement Seminar
Melrose Baptist Church, Roanoke
May 22, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Preparing for Retirement Seminar
Northstar Church Network Office, Annandale
May 25, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Preparing for Retirement Seminar
Great Bridge Baptist Church, Chesapeake

Compensation Planning Seminars

Date/TimeEvent
September 7, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
Virginia Baptist Resource Center, Richmond
September 12, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
North Roanoke Baptist Church, Roanoke
September 14, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
Dan River Association Office, Halifax
September 20, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
The Bridge Network office, Chesapeake
September 21, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
Broadus Memorial Baptist Church, Charlottesville
September 25, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
Northstar Church Network Office, Annandale
September 26, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Compensation Planning Seminar
Manassas Baptist Church, Manassas

Jeff Cranford : [staff-title] Jeff Cranford
Field Strategist, Central Region; Compensation Planning Specialist, Guidestone State Representative
804.921.3945
jeff.cranford@bgav.org
Angela House : [staff-title] Angela House
Guidestone Administrative Assistant
800.255.2428 or 804.915.5000, ext. 5293
angela.house@bgav.org

Click on the following headings for information related to these vital areas of providing financial support for church staff to empower them for effective ministry.

Treasurer's Role

Treasurer's Role

The Church Treasurer’s Role is an excerpt from the Church Management Guidebook, a publication of the Support Ministries Team at the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Please Note: This publication is intended to provide a timely, accurate, and authoritative discussion of the position of Church Treasurer. It is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of all items relating to the position of the church treasurer. It is also not intended as a substitute for legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal, tax or other expert assistance is required the services of a competent professional should be sought. Although we believe this document provides accurate information, there may be changes resulting from IRS or judicial interpretations of the Tax Code, new tax regulations, or technical corrections that occurred after the printing of this book that are not reflected in the text.

Church Staff Compensation Study and Reports

Church Staff Compensation Study and Reports

GuideStone Logo

The 2016 Compensation Study is available for use by churches and church staff in compensation planning. The 2016 study was a joint project of state Baptist conventions, Lifeway Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources.

Compensation and congregational data was collected anonymously from ministers and office/custodial personnel of Southern Baptist churches and church-type missions. Reports are based on compensation for over 12,000 respondents from all 42 state conventions. While this data is made available with respect for the autonomy of each local church, the information can help a church be objective in considering appropriate staff compensation. All amounts are annual amounts based on 2016 compensation. Cost of living adjustments should be made when using the data in subsequent years.   

Insurance Services

Insurance Services

Providing adequate insurance protection for church employees is a constant challenge for BGAV churches and associations. The primary sources for BGAV church employees insurance needs are GuideStone, SBC and the Church Benefits Board, CBF. Please visit the web sites of these two boards to learn about their insurance plans. Occasionally, church employees are unable to use the services of either GuideStone or Church Benefits Board medical insurance plans. For alternative sources of medical coverage or help with other insurance questions contact us!

Compensation Planning

Compensation Planning

Using a comprehensive approach to compensation planning will insure that the church’s financial support resources are maximized and that church employees have the support they need to be freed for empowered ministry. One of the best tools for compensation planning for church employees is available on the GuideStone Financial Resources, SBC web site. This booklet can be viewed online, printed, or downloaded in pdf format. The booklet may also be requested by mail by calling GuideStone at 1-888-984-8433 or contacting our team!

Retirement Services

Retirement Services

The Compensation Planning Specialist can provide information, consultations, and resources on church retirement plans and compensation planning using GuideStone Financial Resources, SBC; the Church Benefits Board, CBF; or other providers. BGAV church employees typically use one of two providers for their retirement preparation, GuideStone, SBC or the Church Benefits Board, CBF. The BGAV state representative for GuideStone, through a cooperative agreement between the BGAV and GuideStone, is available for field service and education relating to the Church Retirement Plan of GuideStone Financial Resources. Information on the Church Retirement Plan is available for viewing, printing, or downloading from the GuideStone web site. Information may also be requested by mail by calling GuideStone at 1-888-984-8433 or contacting our team! This office can also provide information and referral for those needing the resources of the Church Benefits Board, CBF. Information is also available by visiting the Church Benefits Board web site. Supporting events can be found on our Retirement Planning Seminars and Conferences page.

Salary Package Information

Salary Package Information

The Compensation Planning Specialist can provide information, consultations, and resources to assist churches in creating a salary package for church staff.

Tax Information

Tax Information

The Compensation Planning Specialist can provide information, consultations, and resources to help church staff and lay leaders understand and comply with tax laws relating to churches and church staff. Structuring church employee’s compensation properly according to IRS guidelines results in a lower tax liability and compliance with IRS regulations. One of the best resources for handling minister’s taxes and church tax reporting requirements is the annual Minister’s Tax Guide published by GuideStone, SBC. The guide may also be requested by mail by calling GuideStone at 1-888-984-8433 or contacting our team! Our team is available to assist with your tax questions as well. Several C.P.A. consultants around the state who are knowledgeable about church and clergy taxes assist Virginia Baptists as well.

HealthCare Reform and Providing Medical Insurance for Church Employees

HealthCare Reform and Providing Medical Insurance for Church Employees

Beginning January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated new rules around how employers can assist employees with the cost of health care coverage through reimbursement vehicles such as employer payment plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Section 125 plans including premium-only cafeteria plans (POPs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

The details of these impacts can be complicated, but one of the largest impacts is fairly straightforward: employers may no longer pay for their employees’ individual health insurance policies on a tax-free basis.

Information on how churches may provide health insurance is available at here at Guidestone’s website.  General information on Healthcare Reform is available at http://www.guidestoneinsurance.org/HealthcareReform2.

Jeff Cranford, BGAV Compensation Planning Specialist, can provide information, consultations, and resources to help church staff and lay leaders understand and comply with the provisions of Healthcare Reform.

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