The RPB pension, long-term disability, life insurance and pension continuance plans are valuable tools for congregations to attract and retain staff members. To properly serve the Reform Movement, the RPB established eligibility requirements for these programs that are described in this section.
Eligibility for participation in the Reform Pension Plan, a defined contribution, 403(b) plan, requires that the individual is a member of their appropriate Reform Movement professional organization participating with the RPB and be employed by a URJ-affiliated congregation. In addition, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations such as federations, Jewish community centers, etc. may also be considered eligible employers. Membership in or employment by the following organizations qualify for eligibility:
- Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
- Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
- National Association for Temple Administration (NATA)
- National Association of Temple Educators (NATE)
- Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ) (Assistant Directors and Directors only)
- Progressive Association of Reform Day Schools (PARDeS)
- Program Directors of Reform Judaism (PDRJ)
- Reform Pension Board (RPB)
While a congregation that is not affiliated with the URJ is not an RPB-eligible employer, newly ordained rabbis from the HUC-JIR who commence employment with a congregation that is not affiliated with the URJ are automatically eligible to participate in the Reform Pension Plan for three years. An extension of up to two additional years is possible by writing a request to the RPB Board.
Participants who change positions to a congregation that is not affiliated with the URJ but maintain an active membership status with their appropriate professional organization can continue to make contributions under a three-year grace period. The three-year grace period begins upon commencement of employment with the non-affiliated congregation. When the three-year grace period concludes, participants are allowed to leave their pension accounts invested with the RPB.
Please contact the RPB office to verify the eligibility of your staff for the Reform Pension Plan and to request an enrollment package.
Life Insurance Plan
Free Basic Life Insurance
RPB participants who have a combined annual pension contribution paid on their behalf of at least 10 percent of salary (including parsonage, if applicable) through their congregations/employers are eligible for free basic life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage from the RPB. The 10 percent contribution can originate from either the employer or the participant (via elective salary deferral) to qualify for the free benefit. The benefit is equal to one times annual salary (including parsonage, if applicable) up to $50,000. The AD&D insurance program has a maximum benefit of $30,000.
Optional Life Insurance
RPB participants who have a combined annual pension contribution paid on their behalf of at least 10 percent of their salary (including parsonage, if applicable) by their congregations/employers are eligible to purchase optional life insurance. This insurance coverage, which is in addition to the free basic life insurance coverage, can be purchased in increments of up to five times their salary to a total maximum amount of $600,000. Participants enrolling in the pension plan for the first time may purchase life insurance coverage equal to two times salary up to $300,000 without completing the insurance carrier’s Statement of Health form. Participants who want to purchase life insurance coverage in an amount greater than two times salary up to $300,000 must complete the insurance carrier’s Statement of Health form and be approved by the insurance carrier for the coverage.
Participants who decide to increase their life insurance coverage after their initial enrollment, or who decide to purchase optional life insurance at a later time, will have to complete the insurance carrier’s Statement of Health form and submit it directly to the insurance carrier. Participants can request the form by contacting Ingrid Aponte, Participant Account Manager, at the RPB office. Upon notification of approval by the insurance carrier, the RPB will send an invoice to the participant for the premium that is due. Once the payment is made, the insurance policy will be in full effect.
Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage, unlike the pension plan and life insurance programs that have restrictive eligibility criteria, is available to all employees of URJ-affiliated congregations who work at least 18 hours per week.
The RPB LTD program runs on a calendar year schedule; coverage is from January – December of each year. LTD invoice forms for enrollment are located in the Long-Term Disability section of our website during open enrollment periods. The RPB offers two open enrollment periods for LTD:
- Annual Open Enrollment Period: December
- Semi-Annual Open Enrollment Period: July – August
Renewal invoices for LTD coverage are sent directly to LTD participants in December of each year for renewal of coverage for the following year. We notify congregations that we have sent the renewal invoices to the participants simultaneously so that both employees and employers are informed.
Pension continuance insurance continues pension contributions made by the employer of up to 15 percent of a participant’s salary in the event that a participant becomes disabled and is unable to work. The RPB provides pension continuance insurance as a free benefit to plan participants who are receiving long-term disability insurance benefits through the RPB and who were receiving pension contributions at the time of disability. The participant must meet the qualifications of the insurer’s (MetLife’s) definition of disability. Pension continuance contributions would commence after a 180-day waiting period.