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Common Questions

Top Questions

How do I access my Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP) account?

To access your account, go to the Retirement Savings Plan page of our website.

How much should I be saving?

Saving as much as you can now will make it more likely that you have enough money in retirement. Increasing your contributions by just 1% each year until you reach 15% of your income can make a big difference in how much money you have when you retire.

How can I participate in the Retirement Savings Program (RSVP)?

You may participate if you are an employee of the Episcopal Church and your church employer has adopted the plan. If not, you may wish to download the Retirement Savings Plan Employer Adoption Agreement for your employer. Download and complete the Employee Application for Membership Form and mail it to the address indicated on the form.

Can I borrow money from my RSVP account?

Yes, you can. You may borrow 50% of the vested balance of your account balance to a maximum of $50,000. No more than two loans may be outstanding at any one time. The minimum principal amount of any loan is $500. The maximum loan repayment period is five years, unless the purpose of the loan is to acquire a principal residence, in which case a repayment period of up to 15 years is permitted. Loans are repaid by Automatic Clearing House (ACH) debit against your bank account.

More RSVP Questions

How does RSVP supplement my pension plan?

If you participate in the clergy pension plan, you do not contribute to your own retirement account. Your retirement benefit is determined when you retire by a formula based on your compensation and years of credited service. The Retirement Savings Plan offers a way for you to add to your retirement income by contributing to your own RSVP account. Like the pension plan, the RSVP can be used as a housing allowance reduction in retirement.

I wish to contribute a substantial amount of my compensation. Is this allowed?

In 2019 you may contribute up to $19,000 ($18,500 in 2018).  If you are over age 50 you may also contribute an additional $6,000.

Can I change the amount I contribute that is deducted from my pay? If so, how often?

Yes, you can change your payroll deductions at any time.

Can I stop my payroll deductions?

Yes, you may request a suspension of your contributions at any time.

What does it mean that my contributions are on a before-tax basis?

Your contributions reduce your gross income for federal and most state and local taxes. Federal taxes apply when benefits are paid to you, generally at retirement.

Can I contribute on an after-tax basis?


When am I taxed on the employer contributions?

Taxes on any employer contributions and earnings are deferred until benefit payments begin, generally at retirement.

Can I withdraw funds while I am still working?

Yes, if you retire at age 55 you can access your savings; otherwise, you can access your savings after you reach age 59½, or if you suffer a financial hardship, and if you are still working for your participating employer. Loans are also available from the plan. Certain IRS regulations apply.

What is vesting?

Being vested means owning both your employer's and your own contributions, along with the earnings on those contributions. You automatically own whatever you contribute, plus earnings. In some plans, vesting occurs after a period of time. In RSVP, you are fully vested in any employer contributions as soon as contributions begin.

What are the investment options?

They include a variety of funds ranging from a money market mutual fund to growth-focused stock funds, the Stable Value Option (SVO), and the Fidelity Freedom Funds. View investment options

Can I allocate my contributions among the Freedom Funds and the plan's other investment options?

Yes, if you wish. The Freedom Funds are designed to serve as stand-alone options, since each fund invests in a combination of well-established Fidelity mutual funds and is professionally managed to provide a consistent retirement investment strategy over time. However, you are free to allocate your contributions among all the investment options, including the Freedom Funds.

I would like to transfer my account balances between funds. May I do so and, if so, how often?

You can transfer your full account balance, or any portion of it, between investment options daily, at no cost.

What is the difference between withdrawing funds and transferring them?

Withdrawing funds is taking money out of the RSVP. Transferring funds is moving funds from one investment option to another within the RSVP.

Can I rollover my retirement savings from another plan into my RSVP account?

Yes. Generally the plan will accept rollover funds from any qualified tax-deferred plan.

Do I have to close my retirement account if my position terminates?

No you do not have to close you account. Contact Fidelity for information about your options.

Besides a lump-sum payment, are there other payment options available?

Yes. You may also choose lifetime income options or periodic installments over a period of time or for a particular amount.  

What happens to the money in my RSVP account when I die?

The balance is paid to the designated beneficiary indicated on your completed beneficiary form or to your estate.

Will I have access to my money if I am disabled and unable to work?

Yes. You will be paid your balance, and the IRS penalty for early withdrawal may be waived.

More Annuities and  IRA Questions

Is a Roth IRA right for me?

A Roth IRA may be right for you if you want to have tax-free income when you retire. You also need to meet certain income eligibility criteria. Compare your annuities choices and talk to your financial or tax advisor before making a decision on what is best for you.

How do I name my beneficiary?

Fill out and submit a Life/Annuities Beneficiary Form.



Annuities are offered by Church Life Insurance Corporation, 19 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016.

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