Additional Benefits

This plan provides benefits to participating lay employees while they are working.

Disability Retirement Benefit

  • Eligible employees who:
    • Were active employees of a participating church employer when the disability occurred
    • Applied for Disability Retirement from their employer
    • Have been certified by Liberty Mutual*, which has been designated as The Church Pension Fund Medical Board for the Lay Defined Benefit Plan, as disabled
    • Are current on assessment payments
  • The benefit is calculated based on the employee's work history as of the date of the disability.
  • Benefits continue until the employee recovers, reaches Normal Retirement age, dies, or fails to submit proof of a continuing disability.
  • If the employee is still disabled when he or she reaches Normal Retirement age, benefits may continue at the same rate.

Spouse's Benefit

  • Before retirement: Surviving spouse receives 50% of the employee's retirement benefit if:
    • The employee dies before retirement but was eligible for early or normal retirement, and
    • The employee and spouse were married for at least one year

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


  • After retirement: Employees can choose to provide their surviving spouse with a larger benefit under the Joint Retirement Benefit Option. This is a one-time election at the time of retirement and is irrevocable.

Legally married same-gender spouses are eligible for spousal benefits under the Lay DB Plan.

Death Benefit

  • Benefit equals twice the employee's annual compensation – up to $50,000.
  • Only for active employees younger than 72
  • An employee names a beneficiary when he or she enrolls in the plan.

Access to the Retirement Savings Plan 

The Episcopal Church Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP) is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan that gives clergy and lay employees in our defined benefit pension plans the option of contributing their own money toward their retirement savings.

Learn more

* The Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Mutual)

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.

Pensions Disclaimer

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Need Help?

Call Client Services for assistance
(855) 215-5990
Monday – Friday
8:30AM – 8:00PM ET
(excluding holidays)

Fax Number
(877) 4-FAX-CPG
(877) 432-9274

Looking for more information, see At-A-Glance Contact List

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