Should a cleric with a vested benefit die before retiring, his or her eligible spouse or named beneficiary, and eligible dependent children, receive a pension benefit. In addition, if the cleric was eligible at the time of death, his or her named beneficiary will receive a $5,000 Lump Sum Death Benefit and a Group Life Insurance benefit up to $100,000.
If a cleric dies in retirement, his or her eligible spouse or named beneficiary receives benefits in the percentage the cleric designated at the time of retirement. If eligible, his or her named beneficiary will receive a Group Life Insurance benefit up to $50,000.
UPDATE: Retirement Benefits Available for Same-Gender Spouses
As you may know, for clergy who are legally married to a same-gender spouse, the spouse is eligible for full spousal benefits if the cleric earns 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 clergy are active or retired, we are allowing same-gender spouses of clergy to receive full (or partial) spousal benefits if they are legally married and can present an Affidavit of Committed Relationship by December 31, 2017, to show their spouse's eligibility for benefits. Same-gender surviving spouses of retired participants may also be eligible for spousal benefits under certain circumstances.
- Download the Affidavit of Committed Relationship
- Download the Affidavit of Support of Committed Relationship
Clergy who have already submitted an affidavit and made a spousal benefit election do not need to submit another affidavit, and the election they made will continue to apply. If, however, a cleric previously submitted an affidavit and was not eligible to make a spousal benefit election, he or she should call Client Services to discuss his or her 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 email@example.com.