Church Pension Group | Extraordinary Circumstances, Special Assistance

CPG Connect

Extraordinary Circumstances, Special Assistance


When major unexpected financial challenges occur, having additional monetary support can be vital. CPG’s Fund for Special Assistance (FSA) is a referral-based grant that helps provide relief for eligible retired clergy, surviving spouses, and dependents experiencing a specific and extraordinary financial need.

The diocese is typically the first recourse for aid for clergy and their dependents, so bishops play a central role in helping clergy find resources. When an urgent need arises, our FSA grant can supplement any local resources at a bishop’s disposal.

All grant requests to CPG must originate in the bishop’s office. Each diocese may receive up to $30,000 in grants in a calendar year. Also, only one grant per applicant is permitted within a 12-month period, and the total lifetime amount of grants the applicant can receive is $20,000.

Wallace Eckford, a CPG Benefits Policy team member, has seen firsthand how the FSA benefits those in need, from clergy who have rebuilt their lives after suddenly losing all their possessions to dependents recovering from medical trauma. Wallace smiles as he thinks of the handwritten letters—and even music—he has received over the years in gratitude for FSA grants.

Lay Employees: An Array of Benefits

Although lay employees aren’t eligible for the Fund for Special Assistance, they can take advantage of a variety of other resources.

Stability in a Crisis: Support of Hawai’i and Its Clergy

On August 8, 2023, wildfires swept through parts of Hawai’i, severely damaging communities. To help those affected, CPG employees raised more than $3,000 in donations, and The Church Pension Fund (CPF) waived four months of clergy pension assessments.

“It’s been heartwarming to see how partners like the Church Pension Group have offered their aloha,” Ryan Kusumoto said. The CPF Board of Trustees member and President and CEO of Parents and Children Together in Honolulu, Hawai’i, added, “We are immensely thankful for the kindness and love that has brought us solace and strength.”

Diocesan bishops dealing with major disasters and needing financial assistance should submit a Temporary Waiver of Clergy Assessments Following Disaster form for consideration.

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