The Clergy Pension Plan provides survivor's benefits for spouses, eligible children and eligible named beneficiaries of participating clergy. The amount of the benefit depends on whether you die before or after you retire and, if you die after you retire, the survivor's benefit payment options you chose when you retired.
Available Benefits for Survivors
- Monthly Benefit - Your eligible surviving spouse, named beneficiaries, dependent children, and disabled children may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit.
- Lump Sum Death Benefit - A Lump Sum Death Benefit is provided to named beneficiaries if you die before retirement.
- Life Insurance - A life insurance benefit is available for eligible active and retired clergy.
- Resettlement Benefit - If you die before you retire, your eligible spouse or eligible named beneficiary may receive a Resettlement Benefit.
The benefits may be different for active and retired clergy. Please refer to the appropriate benefit page or the Guide to Benefits Under the Clergy Pension Plan for details.
Marriage & Divorce
There are rules that establish who is eligible for a surviving spouse benefit if you:
- Marry close to or after retirement
- Are divorced
- Remarry after a divorce
UPDATE: Retirement Benefits Available for Same-Gender Spouses
As you know, if you are legally married to a same-gender spouse, your spouse is eligible for full spousal benefits if you earn at least three years of credited service while married.
Acknowledging that same-gender marriage was only recently recognized nationally, and also in response to General Convention Resolution 2015-D047, we are relaxing eligibility requirements for same-gender spouses until December 31, 2017. Specifically, whether you are active or retired, we are allowing same-gender spouses to receive full (or partial) spousal benefits if you are legally married and can present an Affidavit of Committed Relationship by December 31, 2017, to show your spouse’s eligibility for benefits. Same-gender surviving spouses of retired participants may also be eligible for spousal benefits under certain circumstances.
- Download the Affidavit of Committed Relationship
- Download the Affidavit of Support of Committed Relationship
If you have already submitted an affidavit and made a spousal benefit election, you do not need to submit another affidavit, and the election that you made will continue to apply. If, however, you previously submitted an affidavit and were not eligible to make a spousal benefit election, please call Client Services to discuss your specific situation.
We are making every effort to communicate this opportunity to everyone. Please share this information with those you think might benefit from it. Please call the Client Services team at (866) 802-6333, Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays) for more information, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details, see Marriage & Divorce
A Note About Beneficiaries
It is very important that all your beneficiary designations be kept up-to-date. You can designate beneficiaries for your:
- Monthly Pension Benefit (with certain restrictions)
- Lump Sum Death Benefit
- Life Insurance
- Resettlement Benefit (with certain restrictions)
If you do not designate a beneficiary for certain benefits, such as the life insurance benefit and the Lump Sum Death Benefit, the benefits will be paid according to “default beneficiary” provisions that may not be in keeping with your wishes. If you die before you retire and you have not named a beneficiary and do not have a spouse or children, no survivor benefit will be paid. To designate or change your beneficiary, please click here.