In addition to the Clergy Pension Plan’s preretirement survivor benefit, CPF provides a benefit to the eligible children of deceased clergy under the Child Benefit Plan.
If you are an Active participant in the Clergy Pension Plan or are vested at the time of your death, your eligible children will receive benefits as follows:
Monthly Child Benefit
Each eligible child will receive a flat dollar monthly benefit ($593.60 as of 2018), subject to the maximum limitation described below. If an eligible child is an orphan, the monthly benefit is doubled.
Each eligible child will receive his or her own Christmas benefit (an additional 13th check that is separate from the monthly child benefit) every December in which the monthly child benefit is payable to him or her. The Christmas benefit for each eligible child equals $25 times your actual Credited Service and, if applicable, projected Credited Service.
The monthly child benefit will be subject to discretionary cost-of-living adjustments that may be approved by CPF’s Board of Trustees.
Duration of Benefit
Child benefits are paid until the eligible child reaches age 25, unless the child is disabled, as described below.
If your child is disabled before age 25, he or she will receive the child benefit for life regardless of how old he or she is at the time of your death. If your child is receiving Social Security disability benefits, then he or she will automatically be considered disabled under the Child Benefit Plan. If your child is not receiving Social Security disability benefits, he or she may still be considered disabled, but only if your child’s physician certifies that your child is totally and permanently incapacitated and incapable of self-support. CPF’s Medical Board, designated as Lincoln Financial Group, must concur with the physician’s findings.
Important note: It is important that you notify CPF that you have an eligible child (or of an eligible child’s disability) as soon as possible to ensure that your child receives the full protection of the Child Benefit Plan in the event of your death. If CPF is notified more than two years after your death, benefits will not be paid retroactive to your death, although they may be payable going forward.
Annual total child benefits (not including the Christmas benefit and future cost-of-living adjustments) payable to all eligible children cannot exceed your Highest Average Compensation. This limitation is determined at the time of your death.
If total child benefits exceed the maximum allowable amount, the maximum amount will be divided equally among all eligible children, and each child will only receive his or her share for the duration of the benefit, as described above.
Child Benefits That Commenced Before January 1, 2018
If a child benefit commenced before January 1, 2018, the child benefit will continue to be paid under the terms of the Clergy Pension Plan in effect prior to January 1, 2018. For any questions about the terms in effect prior to January 1, 2018, please contact our Client Services group.