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Common Questions

Top Questions

How do I access my Defined Contribution Plan (Lay DC) account, or my Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP) account?

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 assure income for life?

  • With a Church Life Annuity, you can have the option of receiving guaranteed income for the rest of your life.
  • With the RSVP or the Lay DC Plan, one of your options in retirement is to receive payments for as long as you live, with the further option of protecting those payments against inflation. You can also receive payments for a specified period, or you may request payments of a specified amount.

How much can I contribute to my retirement plan?

If you have the Lay DC Plan, you may contribute up to 100% of your compensation, minus any required withholdings, as long as the total amount you contribute in a given year does not exceed Internal Revenue Code limits. If you have the Defined Benefit Plan, your employer contributes, but you may not do so.

More Questions: Defined Contribution Plan

How much does my employer contribute to my Lay DC Plan?

Your employer must contribute an amount equal to at least 5% of your annual compensation, plus match your contributions up to another 4% of your annual compensation.

Can I roll over my retirement account from a previous employer?

Yes. Generally, the Lay DC Plan or RSVP will accept rollover funds from an eligible retirement plan (e.g. 403(b) plan, 401(k) plan, individual retirement annuity).

Can I change or stop my payroll deductions? If so, how often?

Yes, you can change or stop your payroll deductions at any time. However, if you change your contributions, the employer's matching contributions may also change.

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?


Are there fees associated with the Defined Contribution Plan?

  • Administrative fees are currently fixed at 0.075% per quarter and are charged at the beginning of each quarter based on the market value of the account at the end of the previous quarter. There are no management or administrative fees charged on the Stable Value Option (SVO).
  • As with all mutual fund investments, there are some underlying fees and expenses, which will vary by fund and are netted against the fund’s earnings.
  • Fidelity charges a $35.00 processing fee for new loans and a $4.75 quarterly recordkeeping fee for each outstanding loan.
  • There is no fee for processing a distribution from an account.

When am I taxed on the employer contributions?

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

What is vesting?

Vesting occurs when a participating employee receives complete ownership of contributions made into his or her account, including the earnings on those contributions.

Can I borrow money from my Lay DC Plan or RSVP account?

Yes, subject to Internal Revenue Service limitations. In general, you may borrow 50% of the vested balance of your account up 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.

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

What if I don’t make an investment election?

We encourage you to take an active role and choose investment options that best suit your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. If you do not select specific investment options, contributions will be invested in the Fidelity Freedom Fund targeted to an assumed retirement at age 65, based on your current age. If we do not have your valid date of birth, contributions will be invested in the Fidelity Freedom Income Fund.

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 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.

What is the difference between withdrawing funds and transferring them? 

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

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. Certain IRS regulations apply.

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

No. Please contact Fidelity for more information.

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 account when I die? 

The balance is paid to the designated beneficiary indicated on your completed Beneficiary Designation Form or to your estate.

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

Yes. You can access your balance, and the 10% tax penalty for early withdrawal may be waived.

More Questions: Annuities and IRAs

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. Compare all of the Church Life annuities and talk to your financial or tax advisor before making a decision on what is best for you.

How do I name my beneficiary?

You will need to fill out a Beneficiary Designation Form to name your beneficiary.

More Questions: Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP)

How does the RSVP supplement my pension plan?

If you participate in the Defined Benefit Plan, you do not contribute to your own retirement account. Your retirement benefit is determined when you retire by a formula based on your highest average compensation and years of credited service. The RSVP offers a way for you to add to your retirement income by contributing to your own money.

Can I participate in the RSVP?

You may participate if you are an employee of the Episcopal Church and your church employer has adopted the plan. Download and complete the Employee Application and mail it to the address indicated on the form to begin participating.



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

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