Church Pension Group | Enduring Peace of Mind

CPG Connect

An Enduring Peace of Mind

2023 Spring Issue

Service Spotlight: Compassionate Assistance

Whether sharing the good news that a just-retired Episcopal school administrator is about to receive her first pension payment or helping a devastated widower navigate a slew of beneficiary documents, CPG’s specialized teams are always on the case.

Each year, we provide ongoing one-on-one support to help some 550 clients retire and assist some 1,250 beneficiaries in claiming what deceased clergy and lay employees have left to them.*

Preparing for Retirement

“We begin walking clients through the process three to six months before they plan to retire,” Tobias Ruffin, Vice President, Client Services, explained. “We review their employment history to make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date and that all necessary assessments have been paid.”

As retirement specialist Bianca Pessoa noted, “Up front, we let them know what to expect down the road, including a timeline of deadlines, so we can remain on track.”

“We go over every form and document they will need to complete,” Julie Garcia, also specializing in retirements, added. “Some situations are complex, such as with blended service—when a member earned credited service in both the clergy domestic plan and Haiti, for example, which is a non-domestic diocese.”

Situations range from straightforward to very involved. In every case, “each member has a dedicated person to help them fully understand all the plans and options they have: pensions, medical, dental, life insurance,” Nellie Rivera, Assistant Manager, Operations, Client Services, said. “These ongoing discussions leave our clients better equipped to reach their retirement goals than if they tried to get through all this on their own.”

Caring for Those You Leave Behind

“People who have just lost their loved ones may be panicking,” Sergia Sobet, Senior Benefits Outreach Coordinator, explained. “For instance, a couple spends 60 years together, and the person who used to handle all the finances passes. The surviving spouse doesn’t know where to start with all the paperwork. So if you call back five times with the same question, I’m here to answer it.”

Maria Shafer, specializing in claims as well, added, “We’ll send a beneficiary a condolence packet that might include a couple dozen documents for six different products to review. We assure them that they don’t have to feel rushed. We do periodic follow-ups, and even if we have to go line by line on each document, we’re going to help them finish everything.”

Carlos Alvarez, a beneficiary in Ecuador, called the personalized assistance he received from CPG “an action of love.”

While helping you prepare to retire and while fulfilling your wishes for your designated beneficiaries, we remain focused on providing peace of mind.

Benefits News: Healthcare Transformation


“When you have a medical issue, do you ever wonder where to start to get the right healthcare? Do you call your doctor? Your health plan? Express Scripts? CPG? Well, we’ve begun exploring a solution that links and coordinates all your available healthcare resources via a single point of access.

“This way, instead of going directly to a surgeon, for example, you might learn that it could be better to try physical therapy first. Whether you need an ID card or have back pain, you’ll quickly be guided in the right direction. Not only should this streamlined coordination lower costs but it should also improve health outcomes. Stay tuned!”

-John Servais, CPG’s Senior Vice President of Benefits Policy and Design

Comments? Questions? Concerns? CPG is listening. Please reach out to us at

CPG Connect Disclaimer

*Clergy and lay employees enrolled in defined benefit plans should contact Client Services. Lay employees in either The Episcopal Church Lay Employees’ Defined Contribution Plan (Lay DC Plan) or The Episcopal Church Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP) should work directly with Fidelity or their employer or arrange a discussion with a CPG financial education specialist.