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Early Retirement

For clergy who are eligible for pension benefits and have less than 30 years of Credited Service, early retirement:

Remember: Credited Service is not the actual amount of years you have worked for the Church, but rather the number of years that assessments have been paid on your behalf.

Pension Benefit Calculation

The calculation for early retirement benefits is completed in two steps:

First, your normal retirement benefit is calculated:

HAC x 1.6% x CS
$10,000 x 1.15% x CS
= Annual Normal Retirement Benefit

Second, your annual normal retirement benefit is reduced by .2% (two tenths of one percent) for each month you are short of age 65.


The Rev. J. Fisher Fisher retires when he reaches age 62, with 25 years of CS and HAC of $60,000. He is 36 months short of normal retirement.

Step 1 - His annual normal retirement benefit is calculated:

$60,000 x 1.6% x 25 = $24,000
$10,000 x 1.15% x 25 = $2,875
= Annual Normal Retirement Benefit = $26,875

Step 2 – His annual normal retirement benefit is then reduced by .2% for each month he is short of age 65 (in this example, .2% x 36 months = 7.2%):

  • Annual normal retirement benefit = $26,875
  • Reduction (7.2% of $26,875) = $1,935
  • Annual early retirement benefit = $24,940

Please note: This amount will be adjusted based on the payment option Fr. Fisher selects at retirement for a survivor’s benefit, if any, for his spouse. For the payment options available for surviving spouses, see Surviving Spouse Benefits.

The information on this page relates only to clergy who are canonically resident in the United States. If you are canonically resident in a non-domestic diocese, please contact Client Services for details about your benefit.

Pensions Disclaimer

Right Rail

Will the Clergy Pension Plan changes impact me?

  • These revisions will not change your monthly pension check if you are already retired or if you retire before January 1, 2018.
  • Benefits to your survivors may also be affected, but without reducing the overall value of their benefits. 
  • Are you planning on getting married? The Marriage After Retirement option will be eliminated effective January 1, 2018.

Click here to learn more.

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