Notify The Church Pension Fund as soon as possible of any changes related to you or your beneficiaries.
If you are an active participant and die before you retire and were eligible for Normal Retirement, the benefit payable to your eligible surviving spouse will be based on your actual years of Credited Service.
If you are an active participant and die before you retire and were eligible for Early Retirement, your surviving spouse will be eligible to receive pension benefits if:
- You were legally married at the time of your death,
- You and your spouse were married for at least one year at the time of your death, and
- Your assessment payments were up-to-date at the time of your death.
If your surviving spouse if eligible to receive a benefit, he or she will receive half the benefit you would have received if you had been retired at the time of your death. The benefit will be calculated using a minimum of 10 years of Credited Service or your actual years of Credited Service, whichever is greater.
UPDATE: Pre-Retirement Survivor Benefits Available for Same-Gender Surviving Spouses
The Lay Defined Benefit Plan provides a survivor benefit to eligible spouses — same-gender and opposite-gender — of active employees who die at or after age 55 but before retirement. Under current rules, to be eligible, a surviving spouse must have been legally married to an active employee for at least 12 months prior to the employee’s death.
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 a period of time. Specifically, the period during which the employee and same-gender surviving spouse were in a committed relationship will be credited toward fulfilling the 12-month marriage requirement. To qualify for this benefit, the lay employee or same-gender surviving spouse must submit a marriage certificate and an Affidavit of Committed Relationship by December 31, 2017. Please call the Client Services team at (866) 802-6333 to obtain a copy of the affidavit form.
We are making every effort to communicate this around the Church. 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 email@example.com.
At the time of retirement, you may choose to reduce your own benefit to provide a benefit to your spouse or other beneficiary after your death.
- A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) gives your former spouse the right to receive all or a portion of your pension benefits.
- A QDRO has tax and legal benefits – discuss this with your lawyer.
- Your QDRO is subject to approval by The Church Pension Fund's Office of the General Counsel.
- We cannot provide information regarding your pension benefits to a third party unless you execute a Consent Form.
For details, please refer to A Guide To Benefits Under the Lay Defined Benefit Plan
Call Client Services at (866) 802-6333 Monday - Friday, 8:30AM – 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays) with any questions.
The Lay Defined Benefit Plan is a qualified plan under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but as a church plan, it is not subject to ERISA. The plan's financial condition is disclosed in the Church Pension Group Annual Report.
The Church Pension Fund, as sponsor of this plan, continues to monitor the funding status closely. Like many defined benefit plans, the Lay Defined Benefit Plan currently is not fully funded. The Church Pension Fund retains the right to amend, terminate or modify the terms of the Lay Defined Benefit Plan, including the employer assessment rate, without notice and for any reason.