Eligibility for Benefits
Eligibility for the benefits described in this Guide is based on your participant status under the Clergy Pension Plan, as follows:
You Will Be
- you are regularly employed and enrolled in the Clergy Pension Plan, have earned at least one month of Credited Service, and Assessments are no more than 24 months past due, or
- your enrollment in the Clergy Pension Plan has ended because you are no longer employed and no more than six calendar months have passed following your last day of employment (referred to as a "six-month grace period"), or
- your six-month grace period is over, and you have paid personal Assessments for each month following your last day of employment up to the current month, or
- you have earned 25 or more years of Credited Service, or
- you were classified as Deemed Active as of December 31, 2017. (In general, to be Deemed Active means that you were eligible to retire at the time you stopped earning Credited Service. As of January 1, 2018, Deemed Active is no longer a status under the Clergy Pension Plan.)
In addition, if you are approved for short- or long-term disability benefits, you will be considered Active under the Clergy Pension Plan as long as you are receiving disability benefits.
- your enrollment in the Clergy Pension Plan has ended because you are no longer employed, your six-month grace period (as described above) has ended, and you have not paid personal Assessments (or your personal Assessments are past due), or
- you are regularly employed and enrolled in the Clergy Pension Plan, but your employer has not paid Assessments for more than 24 months, or
- you are not otherwise Active.
- you have initiated retirement and started to receive your pension benefits and have not subsequently returned to active ministry.
(If you previously retired under the Clergy Pension Plan and then later return to active ministry, your pension may be suspended unless you meet the Working While Pensioned criteria or apply for an exception.)
If You Are Deposed or Removed:
Notwithstanding the rules above, if you are deposed or removed in accordance with the Constitution and Canons, you generally will be considered Inactive as of the first day of the month following your deposition or removal unless you have earned 25 or more years of Credited Service or were classified as Deemed Active as of December 31, 2017.