The Church Pension Fund provides pension and related benefits to eligible Episcopal clergy and their eligible surviving spouses, beneficiaries and dependent children. These benefits include:
Monthly Retirement Benefit
When you retire, if you are vested in the Clergy Pension Plan, you will be paid a monthly benefit based on a calculation that factors in your years of Credited Service (CS) and Highest Average Compensation (HAC).
- You must have at least five (5) years of Credited Service at the time of your retirement to receive a benefit
- The monthly benefit will be paid for as long as you live
- The amount of your monthly benefit is determined when you retire and may be impacted by the survivor payment option you select
A Christmas Benefit (13th Check) is provided to you, your eligible surviving spouse or beneficiaries and surviving dependent children. For information on how the benefit is calculated, see Other Benefits.
Post-Retirement Health Benefits
The Episcopal Church Medical Trust offers Medicare Supplement Health Plans to retired clergy and their spouses who are enrolled in Medicare and have reached age 65. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may receive financial assistance1 for the purchase of a Medicare Supplement Health Plan. See more.
The Clergy Pension Plan provides survivor’s benefits for your eligible surviving spouse, dependent and disabled children, and named beneficiaries.
- Survivor's Monthly Benefit - Your surviving spouse or named beneficiaries may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit. The amount of the benefit paid to your surviving spouse is determined by the payment option you chose when you retired and, if you are divorced, any divorce agreements detailed in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). For more details, see Surviving Spouse Benefits.
UPDATE: Retirement Benefits Available for Same-Gender Spouses
As you know, if you are legally married to a same-gender spouse, your spouse is eligible for full spousal benefits if you earn at least three years of credited service while married.
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 same-gender spouses until December 31, 2017. Specifically, whether you are active or retired, we are allowing same-gender spouses to receive full (or partial) spousal benefits if you are legally married and can present an Affidavit of Committed Relationship by December 31, 2017, to show your spouse’s eligibility for benefits. Same-gender surviving spouses of retired participants may also be eligible for spousal benefits under certain circumstances.
- Download the Affidavit of Committed Relationship
- Download the Affidavit of Support of Committed Relationship
If you have already submitted an affidavit and made a spousal benefit election, you do not need to submit another affidavit, and the election that you made will continue to apply. If, however, you previously submitted an affidavit and were not eligible to make a spousal benefit election, please call Client Services to discuss your specific situation.
We are making every effort to communicate this opportunity to everyone. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Surviving Dependent Children Benefit - Your surviving children may receive a benefit, subject to a maximum as provided in the Clergy Pension Plan. Lifetime benefits may be available to your child if he or she is disabled.
For details, please see A Guide to Benefits Under the Clergy Pension Plan.
If you are receiving a disability retirement benefit, there are different rules for the survivor’s benefits until you reach age 65. See Disability Retirement for details.
If you marry after retirement, your new spouse is not a beneficiary of the Clergy Pension Plan. You may purchase a survivor’s benefit for your new spouse, which will impact the monthly benefit you receive. See Marriage and Divorce for details.
If you retire directly from active service and are eligible to receive a pension benefit, or you have at least 25 years of Credited Service, you will receive a life insurance benefit of four (4) times your Highest Average Compensation up to $50,000. The minimum coverage is $10,000. For details, see Life Insurance.
1The Church Pension Fund plans to continue to provide post-65 health benefit assistance. However, given the rising cost of medical care coupled with the uncertainty regarding the structure of Medicare in the future, this should not be viewed as a guarantee of a post-65 health benefit assistance program in perpetuity.
Health benefits are offered through plans maintained by the Church Pension Group Services Corporation (doing business as the Episcopal Church Medical Trust), 445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
Health benefits are offered through plans maintained by Church Pension Group Services Corporation (doing business as The Episcopal Church Medical Trust), 19 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016.