LSS Financial Counseling Service
LSS Financial Counseling Service is a non-profit, nationally recognized service that can help you gain control of your finances.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Financial Counseling Service is available to all employees of Group Retirement Plans' clients to help them in their journey toward financial well-being. Through this service, you have access to a range of financial counseling by a certified consumer credit counselor, most services at no charge to the employee.*
What types of financial wellness topics can LSS Financial Counseling Service provide?
There are a number of financial wellness topics available for you to explore through this service, including:
I don't live in Minnesota. Can I still use this service?
Absolutely! All employees of Group Retirement Plans' clients are eligible to take advantage of LSS Financial Counseling Service. Counselors are available to work with you by phone. Those who are in the Minnesota area are welcome to visit one of the nine regional offices or they can also meet with a counselor by phone from the convenience of their home or other preferred location. Counseling is by appointment only.
How many sessions are available to me?
Each household member has access to up to six sessions of financial counseling annually through this program. These sessions typically last 45 minutes.
Is there a charge for this service?
Most of the services offered are at no cost to employees. Some services, such as establishing a debt management plan (DMP) and bankruptcy pre-filing counseling, do have a fee. You will be informed in advance if the service you request has a fee.
What do I get with this service?
Financial counseling clients receive an objective assessment of their situation including a detailed budget exploring income / spending / assets / debts and an individualized case action plan with resources and coaching about options to resolve the financial problems.
What about confidentiality?
LSS Financial Counseling Service does not collect, use or disclose non-public, personal information about its clients to any entity, organization or person. No information about individual participants will be released to Portico Benefit Services without the written consent of the participant or legally mandating circumstances. Portico Benefit Services will receive quarterly utilization summaries from LSS Financial Counseling Service that report numbers of people served, demographics and problem types; however, no individual personally identifying information will be shared.
Where are the regional offices located?
LSS Financial Counseling Service has nine regional offices, eight in Minnesota (Brainerd, Duluth, Eveleth, Hopkins, Mankato, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Willmar), and one in Superior, Wis.
Sounds great! How do I get started?
You can contact LSS Financial Counseling Service through its dedicated Financial Choice line at (800) 528-2926, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Central) Monday – Friday.
*Clients who sign up for a debt management plan (DMP) with LSS Financial Counseling Service will be responsible to self-pay the a monthly service fee (9% of the monthly payment to creditors, to maximum of $50). Bankruptcy pre-filing counseling required by the courts will be self-paid by clients.
Note: Portico Benefit Services offers this service as a tool to assist you in financial wellness. Portico Benefit Services does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or reliability of LSS’ counseling.
Employees of Group Retirement Plans' clients: Use the dedicated Financial Choice line at (800) 528-2926, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Central) Monday – Friday.
About our plans
Portico Benefit Services maintains the following plans: ELCA Retirement Plan, ELCA Disability Benefits Plan, ELCA Survivor Benefits Plan, ELCA Health Benefits Plan (which includes the ELCA post-retirement medical benefits obligation) and ELCA Flexible Benefits Plan. We also maintain three group retirement plans for ELCA-affiliated social ministry organizations — the ELCA Master Institutional Retirement Plan, the ELCA Retirement Plan for The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and the ELCA 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. The assets of each plan are held in various trusts and therefore do not allow one plan to fund a shortfall of another plan. Portico Benefit Services’ plans are not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The health, disability and survivor plans are self-insured and are not protected through any type of insurance program. Our ability to pay claims is dependent on continued contributions and market performance. We reserve the right to change any of the terms of the plans at any time through the amendment or termination process described in each plan’s summary plan description.
About our funds
You should carefully consider the target asset allocations, investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds are subject to risk. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance. Portico Benefit Services’ funds are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Fund assets are invested in multiple sectors of the market. Some sectors, as well as the funds, may perform below expectations and lose money over short or extended periods. See "Your guide to investing for retirement & Investment fund descriptions" for more information about our funds.
Neither Portico Benefit Services nor its funds are subject to registration, regulation or reporting under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or state securities laws. Participants, therefore, will not be afforded the protections of those provisions of those laws and related regulations.