Linda Jacobsen to lead affiliate employers benefits expansion
Board of Pensions Release
PHILADELPHIA – Linda J. Jacobsen had reached a point in her career where she wanted two things: an opportunity to give back and a challenge. The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offered both.
Jacobsen is vice president of growth strategies and solutions, a newly established role that she assumed late last year. She is driving Board of Pensions efforts to expand the number of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-affiliated employers who participate in the church Benefits Plan. She brings familiarity with the board’s plans and programs, having served eight years on its Board of Directors.
“The Board of Pensions has undertaken a transformational process to serve more, serve better and serve the church,” Board President Frank C. Spencer said. “Part of that process was to redesign the 2017 benefits plan with the goal of increasing the number of people served by it. To help do that, we will increase employer participation in the plan. Linda is well-prepared to lead this effort.”
“I’m honored to have joined the Board of Pensions at this time in its history,” said Jacobsen, who previously worked for the Lincoln Financial Group as senior vice president of retirement plan services, responsible for all plan sponsor client-facing roles, including strategic and tactical relationship management. “This is the next step in the evolution of the board, whose roots go back to 1717. We need to better understand the needs of our affiliated employers and how the benefits plan, which has undergone its most dramatic revision since its introduction in 1987, can make a difference for them and their staffs.”
Jacobsen is reaching out to PC(USA)-affiliated employers that have not necessarily participated in the benefits plan, such as members of the Presbyterian Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (PAHSA) and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU).
“How can we better serve these communities?” Jacobsen asked. “We have something to contribute both theologically and commercially. As a not-for-profit, we’re motivated by our mission to care for those who serve the church, unlike commercial alternatives, which are more profit-driven.”
The 2017 benefits plan maintains the covenant of the church to care for its pastors and upholds community nature. The plan also provides flexibility, through the unbundling of benefits and offering of menu options. No longer a one-size-fits-all plan, it is well-suited to a church of diverse forms of ministry.
As Jacobsen talked about her excitement in joining the board, she recalled the four years that she was vice president of fund and partnership development for Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania (now Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region). There, she summoned her experience and skills to meet the challenge of garnering support for a large organization determined to strengthen communities by supporting at-risk children.
“That was a wonderful experience,” she said. “I’m grateful to be with the board, which is committed to helping employers promote spiritual, health, financial and vocational well-being — the life abundant that God wants for all of us.”
Jacobsen has a bachelor of science in finance from Lehigh University. She is a ruling elder at Old Pine Street Church (Third Scots and Mariners Presbyterian Church), where she was recently elected to session. The 250-year-old congregation in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia is in the Presbytery of Philadelphia and Synod of the Trinity. Jacobsen also serves as treasurer on the Board of Directors of The Clay Studio, which provides studio space, educational programs and exhibition access to artists and visitors from Philadelphia and beyond.
About the Board of Pensions
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a connectional church. The Board of Pensions, one of six agencies of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), fulfills a unique role in the community by upholding the commitment made by congregations to care for installed pastors and by providing ways for churches and other Presbyterian-affiliated employers to care for other teaching elders and other employees. The board administers the benefits of approximately 20,600 pensioners and survivors, 12,900 active members, 18,300 dependents, and 8,700 inactive members (those with vested pension credits who are not actively participating in the benefits plan).
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