Fall 2016

Clergy Pension Plan Revisions Ready to Enter Next Phase

Following over three years of study and conversations with many stakeholders throughout the Episcopal Church, we hope to finalize the design of the revised Clergy Pension Plan by the end of this year. After approval by The Church Pension Fund Board of Trustees, we will implement a comprehensive communications plan to educate participants on the changes to the Clergy Pension Plan, the rationale for the revisions, and their potential implications. In addition, administrators and other key stakeholders will be trained to ensure a smooth transition to the new Clergy Pension Plan, which is anticipated to take effect in 2018.

Frank Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer of the Church Pension Group, said, “Our primary goal of this initiative is to design a more flexible Clergy Pension Plan that addresses the needs of an evolving Church. Our intent is to do no harm as we focus on maintaining the value of the benefits we provide clergy. These revisions are designed to promote consistency and equality among participants, simplify communication, and improve our ability to administer it all the while making sure that these changes do not put undue pressure on the financial sustainability of The Church Pension Fund.”

As we observe CPG’s centennial in 2017, we remain focused on the future and on addressing the evolving needs of the Church. The revisions under consideration will help ensure that the Clergy Pension Plan continues to provide meaningful retirement benefits to a broad range of participants, including interim ministers, bi-vocational priests, and other eligible part-time clergy, and those who experience longer breaks in service. The Clergy Pension Plan will continue to reward longer service, while also recognizing the importance of other types of ministry.

At least 1,500 bishops, clergy, lay employees, and other lay leaders have given us feedback on the proposed revisions through an iterative series of in-person meetings and webinars. We thank those of you who have participated for your contributions to this effort and your continued confidence and support over the past few years as we have undertaken this important initiative. We believe you will find that the new Clergy Pension Plan is responsive to the changing needs of the Church, is equitable and balanced in its delivery of benefits to all participants, and is easier for our participants to understand and for us to administer.

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about revisions to the Clergy Pension Plan.


Please note that this summary is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment, tax, or other advice. In the event of a conflict between the information contained in this summary and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern. The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates retain the right to amend, terminate, or modify the terms of any benefit plans described in this document at any time, without notice, and for any reason. Unless otherwise noted, websites referenced herein that are outside the domain are not associated with The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates (collectively, the “Church Pension Group”) and the Church Pension Group is not responsible for the content of any such website.