Newsletter Archive

Our Clergy Pension Plans—for Deacons Too

More and more, we have heard that deacons occupy a place of increased visibility as they continue to serve a critical role in the Church. CPG’s recent revisions to The Church Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan, the International Clergy Pension Plan (Clergy Pension Plans), and related plans include new eligibility criteria that could benefit those deacons who are compensated for their service. 

Under the revised rules, all ordained clergy who are compensated, regularly employed, and expected to work five or more consecutive months for the same Episcopal employer must have assessments paid on their behalf and must participate in the Clergy Pension Plans. 

If the positions of deacons or other clerics would otherwise meet the criteria for mandatory participation except that they are expected to be employed for less than five months, and they have letters of agreement (or other contract of employment) directing the payment of assessments by the employers for the services that they will provide, then they have the option of participating in the Clergy Pension Plans.

In addition, the housing allowance is assessable, and all eligible clergy receive a month of credited service for each month an assessment is paid, regardless of the dollar amount. This means that deacons and other clergy who are minimally paid and who meet the eligibility criteria now accrue pension benefits over time.   

“The Clergy Pension Plans are designed to provide retirement income and other benefits to clergy, including deacons, if they are compensated while active and otherwise meet the criteria for participation,” the Reverend Garth Howe, Vice President of Integrated Benefits and Account Management Services, explained. “Give us a call if you think you are eligible. We are here to serve you.” 

For more information about the role of bivocational deacons (and other clergy) in the Church, see our related article featuring the book Bivocational: Returning to the Roots of Ministry by Mark D. W. Edington, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.