For clergy who are eligible for pension benefits and have less than 30 years of Credited Service, early retirement:
- Begins on or after age 60
- Requires at least five years of Credited Service
- Pays a reduced monthly benefit calculated based on your Highest Average Compensation (HAC) and years of Credited Service (CS), adjusted to accommodate your early retirement
Remember: Credited Service is not the actual amount of years you have worked for the Church, but rather the number of years that assessments have been paid on your behalf.
Pension Benefit Calculation
The calculation for early retirement benefits is completed in two steps:
First, your normal retirement benefit is calculated:
Second, your annual normal retirement benefit is reduced by .2% (two tenths of one percent) for each month you are short of age 65.
The Rev. J. Fisher Fisher retires when he reaches age 62, with 25 years of CS and HAC of $60,000. He is 36 months short of normal retirement.
Step 1 - His annual normal retirement benefit is calculated:
$60,000 x 1.6% x 25 = $24,000
$10,000 x 1.15% x 25 = $2,875
= Annual Normal Retirement Benefit = $26,875
Step 2 – His annual normal retirement benefit is then reduced by .2% for each month he is short of age 65 (in this example, .2% x 36 months = 7.2%):
- Annual normal retirement benefit = $26,875
- Reduction (7.2% of $26,875) = $1,935
- Annual early retirement benefit = $24,940
Please note: This amount will be adjusted based on the payment option Fr. Fisher selects at retirement for a survivor’s benefit, if any, for his spouse. For the payment options available for surviving spouses, see Surviving Spouse Benefits.
The information on this page relates only to clergy who are canonically resident in the United States. If you are canonically resident in a non-domestic diocese, please contact Client Services for details about your benefit.