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Highest Average Compensation

A Closer Look at Your Pension

The following section will help you understand the key components of the Clergy Pension Plan and how your pension benefits are calculated.

Highest Average Compensation

Highest Average Compensation is the average of the seven highest-paid, non-overlapping, 12-month periods during which you have earned Credited Service over your entire career.

To calculate your Highest Average Compensation, the compensation that you have earned for pension purposes (that is, on which Assessments have been paid in full and for which you have earned Credited Service) over your entire career is taken into consideration. Please note:

  • 12 consecutive months comprise one 12-month period. (Months in which no compensation is earned are dropped.)
  • The seven 12-month periods do not need to be consecutive; however, they cannot overlap.
  • If you have less than seven years of compensated employment during which you earned Credited Service, then all of the months in which you earned compensation and Credited Service will be used to determine your “career average.”

The definition of Highest Average Compensation described here is used only if Credited Service is earned under the Clergy Pension Plan on or after January 1, 2018. Please note that prior to January 1, 2018, the Clergy Pension Plan used other definitions to determine your Highest Average Compensation. If you established a Highest Average Compensation on or before December 31, 2017, then it can never be lower than the Highest Average Compensation determined by the definitions in effect prior to January 1, 2018.

HAC