Tips and Resources on Compensation and Personnel Matters

Compensation and Staffing News
January 2018
Salary or Other Employee Changes?


Many congregations adjust salaries at the beginning of the new calendar year. Wage changes affect Life and Long-Term Disability insurance premiums (and benefit payouts) as well as Retirement Plan contributions. Do any of your staff have new hours or salaries (salary + housing for ministers)?

  • If they are on our Life or LTD Plans, send a note to Rachael Brennan, Insurance Plans Coordinator, Rachael will need the name of your congregation, the employee name(s), their new salary, and the date the change took effect. 
  • Be sure to adjust Retirement Plan contributions as appropriate. Remember, the employer (i.e., your congregation), not TIAA, is responsible for calculating proper contribution amounts. 
Other kinds of changes can also influence benefits. For instance, our Health Plan premiums vary by zip code, so a staff member's rate might change slightly if they move, even locally. And, of course, changes of situation such as an employee termination or retirement are important for us to know about promptly. Please take a quick look at our Insurance and Employee Changes page and report any relevant changes.
Tax Forms
W-2 form (Wage and Tax Statement): W-2 forms must be given to employees and sent to the Social Security Administration by January 31. Our  W-2 Form FAQ includes box-by-box guidance, with information for ordained ministers and other employees side by side, making it easy to see what's different for ministers. (Need a better understanding of ministerial tax provisions? Check out the resources on our Ministerial Compensation page.)

W-4 form (Withholding Allowance Certificate): In light of the new tax law, updated tax withholding guidance is forthcoming. The IRS anticipates having revised guidelines available later this month so that changes can be implemented in February. The new information will be designed to work with employees' existing W-4 forms on file. While no current employee should have to submit a new W-4, they may do so if they deem it appropriate for their circumstances.

We know that many of you, as leaders and as taxpayers, are wondering about implications of the recent tax law changes. As we learn more ourselves, we will share any information that we believe to be especially relevant to congregational staff.
Staffing for Diversity
Part VI: Wrap-up

Over the past five months, we've used this Staffing for Diversity column to reflect on different facets of a very broad and deep topic. Look for back issues of Compensation and Staffing News on our Office of Church Staff Finances Publications page.

Learning from one another is fundamental to who we are as Unitarian Universalists, and it is key to bettering ourselves as individuals, as congregations, and as a faith. In striving for greater diversity on your staff, what is your congregation learning and grappling with? Have you discovered and mitigated racial or other bias in your job descriptions? Have you made adjustments to your screening, interviewing, and hiring processes? What about your welcoming and onboarding protocol? Supervision and performance feedback?

We've shared some basic considerations through this column, but the experiential wisdom lies with you. If you have gleaned insights or developed good practices that you think would be helpful to others, send them to Jan at They will be compiled and shared in a future issue of this publication - cleansed of identifying info, as appropriate.

We look forward to learning from you.

Jan Gartner | Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager |
 UUA Office of Church Staff Finances
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