Eligibility

Eligibility for Benefits

Eligibility for the benefits described in this Guide is based on your participant status under the Clergy Pension Plan as follows:


You Will Be

Active If...

  • You are regularly employed and enrolled in the Clergy Pension Plan, have earned at least one month of Credited Service, and Assessments are no more than 24 months past due; or
  • Your enrollment in the Clergy Pension Plan has ended because you are no longer employed and no more than six calendar months have passed following your last day of employment (referred to as a six-month grace period); or
  • Your six-month grace period has ended, you have paid personal Assessments for the entirety of the six-month grace period, and none of your personal Assessments are past due; or
  • You have earned 25 or more years of Credited Service; or
  • You are classified as Deemed Active as of December 31, 2017. (In general, to be Deemed Active means that you are not currently earning Credited Service, but you were eligible to retire at the time you stopped earning Credited Service.) Please note: Deemed Active is no longer a status under the Clergy Pension Plan on or after January 1, 2018.

In addition, if you are approved for short- or long-term disability benefits, you will be considered Active under the Clergy Pension Plan as long as you are receiving disability benefits.

Inactive If...

  • Your enrollment in the Clergy Pension Plan has ended because you are no longer employed, your six-month grace period (as described above) has ended, and you have not paid personal Assessments (or your personal Assessments are past due); or
  • You are regularly employed and enrolled in the Clergy Pension Plan, but your employer has not paid Assessments for more than 24 months; or
  • You are not otherwise Active.

Retired If...

  • You have initiated retirement and started to receive your pension benefits and have not subsequently returned to active ministry.
  • If you previously retired under the Clergy Pension Plan and then later return to active ministry, your pension may be suspended unless you meet the Working While Pensioned criteria or apply for an exception.

If You Are Deposed or Removed: Notwithstanding the rules above, if you are deposed or removed in accordance with the Constitution and Canons, you generally will be considered Inactive as of the first day of the month following your deposition or removal unless you have earned 25 or more years of Credited Service or were classified as Deemed Active as of December 31, 2017.

Eligibility for the benefits described in this Guide is based on your participant status under the Clergy Pension Plan as follows:


Disability

Benefit

Active

Inactive

Retired

Short-Term Disability Benefit Yes No No
Long-Term Disability Benefit Yes No No

Death

Benefit

Active

Inactive

Retired

Preretirement Survivor Benefit Yes
(benefit may be based on Credited Service projected to age 65)
Yes, if vested
(benefit is based on actual Credited Service)
N/A
Resettlement Benefit Upon Preretirement Death Yes No N/A
Life Insurance Benefit (Pre- and Post-Retirement) Yes No Yes, if Active immediately prior to retirement
Child Benefit (Pre- and Post-Retirement) Yes Yes, if vested Yes
Post-Retirement Survivor Benefit N/A N/A Yes, if elected at retirement

Retirement

Benefit

Active

Inactive

Retired

Resettlement Benefit N/A (unless you receive long-term disability benefits for six months) N/A Yes, if Active immediately prior to retirement (and you have not already received it)
Monthly Pension N/A N/A Yes
Christmas Benefit N/A N/A Yes
Discretionary Cost-of-Living Adjustments N/A N/A Yes
Post-Retirement Health Subsidy (that is, the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy) N/A N/A Yes, if Credited Service requirement is met

Eligibility Chart

If You Have an Eligible Spouse

Your eligible spouse may receive certain benefits described in this Guide. An eligible spouse is an individual to whom you are legally married (1) both on the date you stop earning Credited Service and on your retirement date or (2) on the date of your death, whichever occurs first. In addition, you must earn at least 12 months of Credited Service while married. Please note that unless all of these requirements are met, your spouse will not be eligible for the spousal benefits described in this Guide.

What happens if I marry later in life? If you are planning to retire shortly after you get married, or if you married after you had already stopped earning Credited Service under the Clergy Pension Plan, your spouse may not be eligible for benefits. We strongly recommend that you carefully consider whether to retire if you have not earned at least 12 months of Credited Service while married.

Important Note: Documentation is Required. In all cases, whether you have an opposite- or same-gender spouse, CPF requires a copy of your marriage certificate to determine eligibility for spousal benefits. If you cannot provide a marriage certificate, then your marriage must be evidenced by a written court order.

Eligible Spouse

If You Have an Eligible Child or Children

Your eligible child(ren) may receive certain benefits described in this Guide. Eligible children include:

  • A legal child who was living on the date that you stopped earning Credited Service or was born or adopted within 12 months thereafter; and
  • A stepchild, foster child, or legal ward who was your tax dependent both in the calendar year in which you stopped earning Credited Service (or in the calendar year immediately following the year in which you stopped earning Credited Service) and in the calendar year of your death.

In addition, an eligible child must be under the age of 25 at the time of your death or must be disabled. If disabled, the eligible child must have become disabled prior to reaching the age of 25. (CPF will consider a child to be disabled if he or she is receiving Social Security disability benefits or has been determined to be disabled by CPF’s Medical Board, designated as Liberty Mutual.)

Eligible Child or Children