Principal Financial Group—Account Login
Online Payment System Login
FIRST-TIME USERS INFO
WPF utilizes the services of Stewardship Technology Inc for making payments to a participant’s account on a regular basis. To get your NEW account started, please call our office or email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following information: Ministry Name, Federal Tax ID, Address, Phone Number and Email Address. We will register your account and notify you by email when it’s ready for you to complete the process.
When you hear from us that your account is ready, click on the “Returning Users” button on our website. This will take you to the Stewardship Technology site. Bookmark this page for future sign-in. Click on “Create An Account” and follow the screens to complete your username and password setup, along with your employee and bank account information.
Once the initial setup is complete, the system will process your payments and you will receive a confirmation email when the transaction has completed.
If you later add a new employee to your account, please remember that an enrollment form MUST be completed and mailed or faxed to WPF before the contribution can be processed to the new employee’s account. If he/she is already a member, please DO NOT send us another enrollment form.
To enroll, please download Enrollment Forms (includes Beneficiary Form) under Forms on this site. Forms are also available in Spanish.
Monday – Thursday
8:30am – 4:30pm
Semi-Annual Mailed July
Annual Statement Mailed January
Quarterly Statements Online
1099-R Mailed January
T-4 Mailed February
RMD Letter/Forms Mailed Oct/Nov
2020 YEAR-END PROCESSING
RMD Paperwork due Dec 10
Distribution forms due Dec 10
Employer Contributions due Dec 17
PFG YE Blackout Jan 1-15
KEEPING YOU INFORMED
- COVID-19 WPF UPDATE
- Access My Funds
- Current Legal Updates
- District Administrators
- Finance Administrators
WPF personnel are currently working remotely from home during the special distancing/isolation period as regulated by our authorities. We are keeping our regular office hours, Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-4:30pm EST. Our phones are currently down but we are receiving email at our same email address, email@example.com, and will help you with your inquiries as quickly as possible. If we need to speak with you by phone, we will use our cell phones. Please be willing to answer numbers with a 317 area code.
We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and are praying for God’s comforting hand as our country gets through this crisis. We urge you to stay in, stay well and have a blessed day!
I’M ELIGIBLE—AND A MINISTER—HOW DO I ACCESS MY FUNDS?
There are three options for accessing your funds:
- Partial Withdrawal – removes any portion of funds. (A rollover option is also available.)*
- Extended Payment – an automatic, scheduled payment of your choice distributed monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. (You can have the funds deposited to your WIF account with this option, if desired.)*
- Lump Sum Distribution – removes all the funds and closes the account. (A rollover option is also available.)*
As a minister, all your funds are 100% housing allowance, which means the taxes are not withheld when you withdraw your funds. If you use your funds for items not pertaining to home/property, you can fill that amount in the “taxable income” box when you receive your 1099-R for your tax preparation. There is an example of the 1099-R under “Forms” on this website.
To access your funds, you need:
- A form for one of the above withdrawals.
- The W-4P form (1st page only) with box checked for no withholding of Federal taxes. (Your State may also have a W-4P form – we have a few on this website.)
- The Direct Deposit form with voided check – for funds to be deposited in a checking or savings account.
- A spouse signature witnessed by someone other than you (18+ years). This can be done before completing the form.
- A signature of the witness (does not have to be a notary).
- A copy of the spouse’s driver’s license or other official document showing signature (unless spouse is also a WPF participant).
WPF forms are available on this website or they can be sent to you.
*Principal Financial Group (PFG) charges a transaction fee of $50 for each partial and for the lump sum. The Extended Payment’s fee is pro-rated so it is one fee charged quarterly throughout each year.
When placing a withdrawal, if you’d like to receive the entire amount you wrote on the form, place “NET” after the amount so the taxes (if you’re having taxes withheld) are taken out of the remaining funds in the account and not out of the amount you wish to receive (see example).
Requested: $5000 NET = $5000 received
Requested: $5000 = $3800 received ($1000 Fed Tax, $200 NC State Tax)
Email or call WPF if you have questions or need forms sent to you. We are always happy to assist!
Major Court Victory for the Ministers’ Housing Allowance
Thousands of pastors and churches across America just scored a major victory in the latest court challenge to the ministers’ housing allowance.
In its highly anticipated opinion on March 15, 2019 the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a lower federal district court, which had ruled in late 2017 against the longstanding housing allowance for ministers. Instead, the appeals court likened the ministers’ housing allowance to other similar benefits in the tax code for work-related housing, finding the provision permissible under the First Amendment and well-established legal precedent.
ECFA has actively defended the housing allowance, including supporting an amicus brief that was cited by the appeals court judges in their favorable decision in this case. President Dan Busby commented on the court victory, “This decision is a win not just for the ministers’ housing allowance but for the ‘more than 2,600 federal and state tax laws that provide religious exemptions’ cited by the Seventh Circuit, some of which date back to early 1800s.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the group which brought this challenge to the housing allowance, did not indicate their intention to appeal the decision in an early press release reacting to the case.
- When can I access my funds? – What if I leave my job?
- Why am I not seeing the total contribution in my PFG online account?
- Can I give personally to my pension?
- Isn’t 4-47487 my account number?
- What about forms and payments?
-FORMS: Available for download on our website under “FORMS” or we can email or mail them. We do not recommend emailing completed forms to WPF as email is not secure. Our contact information is available on the forms.
-ONLINE PAYMENTS: All District Offices should now be on the Online Payment System as an example for their churches and to help answer questions their local church treasurers might have.
-PORTAL USAGE: We use The Wesleyan Church Portal to check ministerial credential status, to find local church leaders and email addresses. Please help us by keeping the Portal continually updated.
ENROLLING AN EMPLOYEE INTO WESLEYAN PENSION FUND:
-ALL employees are eligible to participate in WPF – both lay and clergy staff.
-Give Enrollment Forms to employee (on website under “Forms”). If there is an agreement between the employer and employee to also have a voluntary, salary-reduction (employee contribution), you will need to sign the form in Section C. Fax or mail completed forms to WPF. If a new employee is already a member of WPF, please do not have him/her complete another enrollment form, just give us any updated information.
-The WPF Summary Plan Description is a document you should suggest to your new employees for an understanding of the Plan policies. It is available in several places on our website.
-Begin Contributions. Enrollments are not processed until a contribution from the ministry is received by WPF. We recommend and prefer receiving contributions through the Online Payment System available through our website. If paying by check, please mail it with a completed Remittance form, available on the website under “Forms.”
-WPF recommends contributing an amount equal to 12% of the employee’s gross salary. Salary is equal to cash salary plus housing. If the employee is provided a parsonage, the value used should be the taxable year-end amount. A portion of the employer contribution totaling 1% of the gross salary is used to purchase disability and life insurance for the employee and for such other purposes as the Board of Pensions may determine. The rest is invested in the Plan account.
Exit Interviews. Remind the outgoing employee about their pension funds. They will need to keep WPF informed of contact information changes. Lay personnel can access their employee (EE) funds one year after job termination date and in five years for employer (ER) funds. They will no longer have the insurance benefits in the Plan. Clergy members can only access their funds if they file/surrender their credentials with the General Secretary’s office of The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters and then it’s five years from the date of the vault receipt. ALL participants may access their funds at the age of 62. *Also see “Employee Job Termination.”
Employee Job Termination. When an employee leaves their job and processes a Lump Sum Distribution for the balance of their funds, which closes their account, they are committing to not returning to a job that would require a future enrollment in WPF. If they plan to seek a position in another ministry where WPF is utilized, they must leave their funds intact.
Employer (ER) and Employee (EE) Funds. When adding employees to your Online Payment System account or using a Remittance form to accompany a check for contributions, be sure to mark the correct option for posting. ER funds are contributions paid by the ministry. (Insurance premiums are paid from these funds.) EE funds are contributions made from voluntary, salary-reduced funds of the employee. If the funds are not posted correctly, it can effect the employee’s insurance coverage.
Year-End Contributions. All Employer (ER) and Employee (EE) contributions are due into WPF by the middle of December to have them credited to their accounts in the current year. We post the exact dates on our website under “Year-End Processing.”
Year-End at Principal Financial Group (PFG). The first two-three weeks in January are blackout dates for Principal while they process year-end. Contributions to accounts and withdrawals from accounts are put on hold during that time. The Annual Statements are usually sent by the end of January or first week of February. If you want your contributions to show up in the current year statements, those must be sent in by the middle of December. If your employees need to withdraw funds and want them before the end of January, they need to have their forms in by the second week of December. (See “Year-End Processing on our website for exact dates.)
-For information on Voluntary, Salary-Reduction (EE contributions), contribution limits and housing allowance for ministers, see the “Plan Benefits and Information” section on this website.
-Completed forms faxed or mailed
-WPF does not recommend unsecured email to send completed forms
-Allow 7-10 business days for processing withdrawal of funds
Chief Executive Officer
Director of Benefits
Wesleyan Pension Fund, in conjunction with Morgan Stanley, is committed to developing retirement plan options designed for each participant’s needs. These Target Date Retirement Portfolio options are constructed to assist you with complex retirement decisions by automatically adjusting your investment allocation according to your targeted retirement age.
To begin, simply select the Target Date Retirement Portfolio that most closely matches your projected retirement date. Over time your portfolio allocations will automatically shift from being more equity-oriented to more fixed-income oriented thereby becoming more conservative to protect your capital as your retirement date approaches.
PLAN BENEFITS & INFORMATION
The Plan is a church retirement income account program described in section 403(b)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Code permits denominations and churches to set up retirement plans designed to provide current tax savings on plan contributions and plan earnings to be paid in the form of pension benefits during retirement. The Plan provides tax savings, while at the same time providing you with investment vehicles through which your retirement funds can grow.
For enrollment forms, please download Enrollment Form (includes Beneficiary Form) or the Principal Financial Group Custom Enrollment Kit (with Enrollment Forms) under FORMS on this site.
Employer Contributions – Your ministry employer is strongly encouraged to contribute an amount equal to 12% of your gross salary. Salary is equal to cash salary plus housing. If your employer provides a parsonage, the value used should be the taxable year-end amount. A portion of the employer contribution totaling 1% of your gross salary is used by WPF to purchase disability and death protection for you and for such other purposes as the WPF board may from time-to-time determine. The rest is invested in your account in the Plan.
Salary Reduction Contributions – These are contributions made by you by means of payroll salary reduction. This type of contribution allows you to contribute a certain portion of your compensation to the Plan on a pre-tax basis. This type of contribution reduces your current taxable income by the amount of your contribution, saving you current tax dollars. Non-ordained/licensed employees must pay Social Security taxes on their salary reduction contributions.
2020 Elect Deferral Contribution Limits:
- Salary Reduction of $19,500
- Over 50 Catch-up of $6,500
- 15-Year Rule Catch-up of $3,000
- 15+years of service with current employer ($15,000 lifetime max).
- If you’ve been working for your current employer for 15 years or more and your average annual contribution was less than $5,000 per year, then you can contribute up to $3,000 extra per year, with a $15,000 lifetime maximum. You don’t need to be 50 years old to qualify for this type of catch-up contribution, but if you are 50 or older, you can make both types of catch-up contributions in the same year.
It is possible to contribute up to $29,000 for 2020 if you are eligible for items #2 and #3.
If you are an active or retired minister, a portion or all of your annual pension may be designated as available for housing allowance, pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Ruling 75-22. However, the amount actually excludable as housing allowance cannot exceed:
- The fair rental value of the furnished home plus the cost of utilities, furnishings and maintenance; or
- The actual expenses of operating a home; or
- The amount designated by WPF as a housing allowance.
As a retired minister, pension distributions are NOT subject to SECA tax.
To review the latest housing allowance information, please see Preparing Tax Returns for Clergy, a booklet provided for easy review and downloading in our Resources section below.
The WPF 403(b) Defined Contribution Plan allows for any member to begin drawing from their retirement account at the age of 62. If you are eligible, you may either withdraw the funds monthly or receive funds through a partial distribution. All ordained/licensed members in our plan may be eligible to use the funds for housing allowance. Please see the Housing Allowance Chapter in the resource below or call our office for further details.
The Extended Payment Form is to be completed for a monthly (or quarterly, semi-annually or annual) benefit. You have the option to have the benefit funds directly deposited into a checking or savings account.
The W-4P Form is a Federal tax form where you can indicate if you want to withhold tax or not.
These forms may be mailed or faxed to our office for processing. Once received and processed to Principal Financial Group, please allow 7-10 business days to receive your funds.
Please call our office if you have further questions.
The Extended Payment and W-4P Forms are available for download. See FORMS on this site.
GROUP INSURANCE BENEFITS
WPF assumes contributions to the Plan it receives on your behalf are based on 12% of your salary and uses this salary figure for both death and disability benefit purposes. For example, if your employer contributes $2100 to the Plan on your behalf, WPF will calculate your total salary to be $17,500 ($17,500 x 12% = $2100) and your death and disability benefits will be based on this amount of $17,500, regardless of what your actual salary is. Therefore, in order for you to receive the maximum death or disability benefits available, it’s important that your employer’s contributions to the Plan be based on your actual cash salary and, in the case of clergy, any additional housing and utilities.
The formula for determining the life insurance benefit for individuals age 30 and younger is 4.0 times your salary, determined as described in the preceding paragraph. The salary multiple drops 0.1 for each year of age past 30, leveling out at 1.0 times compensation at age 60 to 70. Coverage is .5 times at age 70 and over for active participants. See insurance links below. This benefit is only available before retirement. Once you retire or terminate employment, you will no longer be covered under the WPF group insurance plan. The maximum amount of life insurance benefit is $550,000.
The amount of disability benefits equals 60% of your salary, determined as described under the Group Life Insurance tab. The maximum amount of disability benefits to which you are entitled is $10,000 per month. Your disability coverage is coordinated with any Social Security and/or Workers Compensation benefits you receive.
In order to receive disability benefits, you must be an active participant in the Plan. You are considered an active participant if contributions have been made to the Plan on your behalf by your employer during the previous 12 months. You will also be required to provide proof of your disability. Once approved by UNUM Insurance Company, your benefits will commence following a six-month waiting period and continue for as long as you are disabled up to age 65.
WPF Group Long-Term Disability booklets provided by UNUM are available for plan members to download for further details of this coverage. You may also select a document below to learn more about the assistance programs provided by UNUM in addition to your Life and Disability coverage.
These annually provided booklets are available to download and will assist treasurers and financial administrators of churches with tax issues to housing allowance guidance. The author, Daniel D. Busby, is the President of Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and also a former General Treasurer of The Wesleyan Church.