Q: What is the minister’s housing allowance?
A: A minister's housing allowance (sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance) is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes but not for self-employment tax purposes. It is an amount officially designated (in advance of payment) as a housing allowance, and in reasonable payment for services rendered as a minister. Certain amounts, subject to IRS rules, may be excludable from gross income on the minister’s federal tax return. See www.irs.gov for more information regarding the tax implications of the housing allowance.
Recently, PBUCC Staff and Investment Committee members met with outside experts from Northern Trust, Neuberger Berman, and GSAM to:
- gain further insight into trends in retirement plan structure and participant choices, to see how the Pension Boards’ 403(b) Annuity Plan compares, and
- review our Faith and Finance (Sustainable Investing) initiatives.
To be honest, the better performance by the U.S. versus the rest of the world is not entirely unexpected after a strong year for international stocks in 2017. Tax changes and less regulation have stimulated the U.S. economy, but the markets have recently started to gravitate to the idea that the U.S. represents the only investment opportunity in the world. Although Pension Boards’ Funds are allocating a majority of assets to U.S. investments, most experts know the benefits of diversification over the longer term, and international markets should not be ignored, especially when they hold value for the longer-term.
We thought you would like to see a current assessment of emerging markets by GSAM. We will continue to keep you informed on trends influencing global markets and your retirement funds.
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management: EM [Emerging Markets] Comeback*
In this abbreviated Mid-Year Outlook, GSAM shares its views on the remainder of 2018, with particular focus on the recent volatility in emerging markets.
*The EM Comeback report is used with permission of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Highmark recognizes how important it is to help those affected by natural disasters, so we’re putting temporary program changes into effect for those who are affected by Hurricane Florence. For those who reside in areas where States of Emergency have been declared, the following waivers have been put in place:
Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s office and forgot to ask a question about a symptom you’ve been having, or brought home a new medication and couldn’t remember if you were supposed to take it with a meal?
A little preparation before your next visit can help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your doctor visits, and ensure you’re being an active participant in your health – saving you time, money and worry. You can get more from your doctor visits by following these tips:
Before you go…
- Choose the right doctor. Check if your provider is in your health plan’s network, how long it takes to get an appointment, and if they’re available for medical issues after hours.
- Create a list of questions you want answered. Prioritize the list to ensure you ask the most important questions first.
- Bring a record of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements you take regularly, as well as the names and contact information of other doctors you see.
- Take along a personal health record and other pertinent information to share.
- Ask someone to go with you to take notes or to be a second set of ears.
While at the visit…
- Arrive on time. Your appointment allots you a specific amount of time with the doctor.
- Be open and honest. Sometimes it can feel awkward to discuss certain things with your doctor. Being truthful and forthcoming can help your doctor better assess your needs.
- Share your history. Your personal and family health history may offer the doctor insight into how to manage your care.
- Get the details about tests, procedures and treatments. Ask about side effects and when to expect test results.
- Listen actively to your doctor to demonstrate that you are a partner in your care.