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November 2, 2022

November message from LifeSpeak : Type 2 Diabetes

More than 400 million people around the world live with diabetes.  1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to it each year.

This month, join us in recognizing World Diabetes Day that is on November 14th. Created by the WHO and IDF in 1991, the day is now observed by more than 1 billion people in 160 countries. Learn more about the condition with the LifeSpeak resources below.

Learn more now with LifeSpeak experts.

On November 22nd at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Jennifer Mervyn addresses how to manage stress and build resilience.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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October 6, 2022

Understand and improve your mental health with help from LifeSpeak experts

We all know that feeling. Something isn’t quite right. We’re stressed and tired, anxious or depressed. We know we need to make a change but don’t know exactly what—or how.

Developing and maintaining a healthy mental state is critical to almost every aspect of our lives, from our relationships to our diet to our professional success. If we want to remain balanced, focused and productive, we need to take care of our mental health in the same way we take care of our physical health.

To do so, we need the right tools and the right information from people we can trust.

In this campaign, our experts will help you understand mental illness, navigate the mental health care system as a racialized person, find the right therapist, cultivate emotional intelligence and much more. They’ll facilitate your personal growth so you can embrace challenges and enjoy the success you seek in all areas of your life.

On October 26 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Russell Kolts addresses how to take care of your mental health.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

UCRD

On this topic the United Church Bookstore has The Healing Oasis: Guided Meditations for Mind, Body, and Spirit and Returning to the Healing Oasis: Guided Meditations for Mind, Body, and Spirit. These resources provide spiritually-minded guided meditations suitable for individuals and groups for both church and non-church settings to help you take the time to cultivate to your mental wellbeing as we do our physical wellbeing.

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September 14, 2022

September 2022 - By the Numbers

The Benefits Centre team is pleased to announce that we have made 17 lump sum payments and 4,768 regular pension payments following the transition from RBC Investor and Treasury Services to LifeWorks in May. All thanks to LifeWorks' Ariel payroll system that streamlined the payroll run and generated one payroll run instead of two for monthly pensions and lump sums. Check out more details below!

Ariel Payroll September Infographic

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September 2, 2022

Become the CEO of Your Own Health

The last couple years have been unlike anything we’ve experienced before. We’ve had so much to manage, it’s no surprise that some of us have slipped into unhealthy habits  – but that’s okay! During unprecedented times, we need to be gentle with ourselves, but it’s also good to take a moment to re-evaluate our habits. This month LifeSpeak experts will talk about different health aspects and help us becoming the CEO of our own health!

On September 21st at 12:00 p.m. ET, the Ask the Expert web chat by Marty Martin addresses how to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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August 2, 2022

This Month From LifeSpeak

The last two years brought a lot of changes to our lives. Work has been one of them and we had to adapt to remote and flexible work. This month, our LifeSpeak expert will give practical tips on how to make flexible and remote work a success!

On Aug 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Sharon Selby addresses how to Prepare for Back to School and Return to Office.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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June 30, 2022

How to read your 2021 Annual Pension Statement

Annual member statements for the 2021 plan year will be issued to active, deferred and retired members of the Pension Plan at the end of June 2022.

Remember that, if you have a spouse, they would automatically receive any pre-retirement death benefit as per pension legislation. However, you should also designate a beneficiary in case your spouse pre-deceases you.

If you need to declare a spouse, or designate a beneficiary, please scan the QR code to fill out the secure form that will be submitted directly to the Benefits Centre. For security purposes, once you enter your name and email address, a verification code will be emailed to you. In order to proceed to the form, you will have to enter that code when prompted. If you have not received your statement and are paid through ADP, please contact them directly to ensure the address on file is correct.

If you have not begun receiving your pension, the statement will contain a box that looks something like this:

Your Pension Your Future
FOR EVERY YEAR YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE PENSION PLAN YOU INCREASE YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME $XX,XXX

THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY

IN 2021, YOU EARNED

$X,XXX

THIS IS ADDED TO THE ANNUAL PENSION YOU’VE ALREADY EARNED

+ XX,XXX

YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65

+ 15,043

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS

+ 7,784

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITS

___________________________________ _______________________________________
= $XX,XXX

YOUR TOTAL ANNUAL PENSION EARNED TO DECEMBER 31, 2021

= $XX,XXX

YOUR ESTIMATED ANNUAL RETIREMENT INCOME

(excluding other employer pensions or personal savings)

THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY - is calculated based on your pensionable earnings and years of credited service.

YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65 – is an estimate based on the assumption that you continue to work in the same job category until you reach age 65.  If you stop working before that, or if your pensionable earnings change, this amount will also change.

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS – The amount shown as an example on your pension statement is the maximum amount payable under the Canada Pension Plan.  Not all Canadians receive the maximum possible payout from the Canada Pension Plan.  Please note that the average annual amount of CPP paid to new recipients in 2022 was $8,433.

In order to determine your personal benefit under the Canada Pension Plan, you can request a Personal Access Code (PAC)  You can use this code to register for My Service Canada Account, which will provide access to your personal record of contributions and benefits earned under the Canada Pension Plan.

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITS – Old Age Security is a pension you can receive if you are 65 years of age or older and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years.

When planning for retirement, all of these sources of income, as well as your personal savings and any pension from previous employers should be considered. We recommend that you consult with a financial planner to help with the financial aspects of your retirement planning.

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June 24, 2022

Pensioner payroll change to LifeWorks - June Communication

The first letter from the Benefits Centre informing pensioners about the change to the processing of pension payments - from RBC Investor and Treasury Services to LifeWorks.

The second mailing in June was divided into three letters depending on where you are currently residing:

The second communication from the Benefits Centre was mailed the week of June 15, with more information on T4As for the 2022 year, and about the Web portal - which will be available to all in October 2023 but will be optional. Just a reminder, there is nothing for you, as a pensioner, to do on your end.

Three versions of the letter were mailed - depending on your current location - and they are all posted on the Retirement page, under Communications. If you have not received this communication by the end of the month, please e-mail pension@united-church.ca or phone the Benefits Centre at 1-855-647-8222 to ensure they have the correct address on file.

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May is Mental Health Month: Care for yourself and others with expert support

LifeSpeak

The past couple years have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and new challenges are constantly emerging. Many of us are running on empty and only beginning to regain emotional balance. We need to take care of ourselves, and also remember to be empathetic to the struggles of those around us.

The month of May marks the start of Mental Health Month. To help you support yourself and your loved ones, LifeSpeak’s resources on empathy, supporting coworkers and diverse communities, developing resilience and more are available. Their experts will highlight the topics of depression, stress and sleep and stress at work.

On May 25 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Jennifer Mervyn addresses how to Include Mental Health in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion* Conversation

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

*The United Church of Canada uses the language "Disability, Accessibility and Inclusion". 

LifeWorks:

Canada’s Mental Health Week took place from May 2-8. To mark the occasion, LifeWorks launched a new microsite The Ambiguous Side of Mental Health. Filled with free resources, the microsite explores the subtle signs that mental health is declining, leading to adverse effects at home and work, and ways to improve your mental wellbeing.

Coming soon: Join LifeWorks as they connect with people sharing their stories of resilience, interview experts and delve into topics that matter most — like Finding Self-Worth, LGBTQ+ Wellbeing and Allyship and Combatting Depression. Click here for a sneak peek.

Building Resilience in Uncertain Times: this pre-recorded session reviews how feeling like having little or no control during difficult events is normal, and how coping mechanisms can help manage these stressful situations.

UCRD

Learn how to use your faith as a guide through uncertain times in Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark at the United Church Bookstore. Through this book Taylor is your guide through a spirituality of the nighttime, teaching you how to find your footing in times of uncertainty and giving you strength and hope to face all of life’s challenging moments.

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April 4, 2022

Thriving in a Digital World

LifeSpeak

Technology is supposed to make life easier—so why does it create so much stress?

It can seem like the digital world introduces two new problems for every one it solves. Social media helps us stay in touch with friends and family, but promotes insecurity and loneliness. Laptops simplify everyday tasks, but induce back and neck pain from hunching over a screen all day.

We need the right tools to make sure the digital world works for us, not against us. This month, LifeSpeak’s experts will help you survive and thrive with resources on reducing screen time, mitigating loneliness, overcoming tech addiction and more. They’ll help you decode common challenges and build a healthier lifestyle.

On April 20 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Nina Hersher addresses how to protect your mental wellness when using technology.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

Technology has expanded to the counselling world, opening up opportunities for people to access mental health services from the comfort of their own home. Here are some great articles that highlight the positive steps in our digital world:

On the other hand, there are so many different types of social media – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok – that may have a negative impact on our mental health. These articles touch on social media and reminds us not to take it too seriously:

These articles, and more, can be found in the Health & Wellbeing tab, under General mental health. WorkHealthLife also offers online group counselling to support you during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Anxiety: This Online Group is designed to support you with the anxiety you are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Parenting: This Online Group is designed to support you in parenting your school age child through the COVID-19 pandemic

UCRD

Learn to step back and unplug from the digital world to make space for rest in your own life through author David Shepherd’s journey to reclaim Sabbath. Written as a diary, Seeking Sabbath, follows Shepherd as he decides to practice the discipline of a day of rest each week over a six-month period.

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March 24, 2022

Welcome Back, Connex!

After a year-long hiatus, Connex is back! This version will pick up where the print version left off and will only be available online. Going forward, Connex will focus mainly on pension, benefits, and payroll news.

If you were previously receiving an email about Connex and didn’t see it in your inbox, check your spam folder! If it’s still not there and you would like to receive Connex, please sign up for the latest news and updates on the Newsroom page by filling out the form below.

Newsroom Subscribe

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Previous issues of Connex can be found on the United Church Commons, under Communications, Publications and Media.

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