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Road To Retirement Checklist

Whether retirement is a distant dream or a next step, it is never too early or too late to start planning! Here’s how to start:

  • Set realistic financial goals for retirement.
  • Make a budget and stick to it.
  • Estimate the cost of college education for children and other family members you are financially responsible for.
  • Review your Group Life Insurance benefits and calculate the amount of life insurance you need.
  • Review your pension benefits. Call Client Services to arrange a time to review the status of your benefits at (866) 802-6333 Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays).
  • Assess your savings, including retirement savings and other pension plans in which you or your spouse may be vested, as well as other potential sources of retirement income.
  • Review your Church Pension Fund life insurance beneficiary information, as well as beneficiaries on other policies you may have. Download the Group Life Insurance Beneficiary Form.
  • Review the beneficiaries you have named for Clergy Pension Plan benefits: pre-retirement survivor beneficiary and lump sum death benefit beneficiary. (Refer to your Personal Information Summary or call us at (866) 802-6333, Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 8:00PM ET, excluding holidays.)
  • Review your annuities and retirement savings accounts.
  • Think about where you would like to live in retirement and research costs.
  • Review your Social Security information.
  • Remember to continue using the Internal Revenue Service's housing exclusion for clergy.
  • Review your medical insurance needs and options.

If You’re Retiring Soon

If you plan to retire within the next six months, you should:

  • Request your Medicare card from Social Security three months before your 65th birthday.
  • Decide when to take Social Security benefits.
  • Consider opportunities to earn income after retirement, but remember that Social Security and The Church Pension Fund limit retirement earnings.
  • Continue using the Internal Revenue Service's housing exclusion for clergy.

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.

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 benefits@cpg.org.

 

Unless otherwise noted, websites referenced herein that are outside the www.cpg.org domain are not associated with The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates (collectively, the Church Pension Group) and the Church Pension Group is not responsible for the content of any such websites.