Church Pension Group | Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Active member

A member who meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is scheduled to work 1,000 hours or more per year at a participating employer; and
  • Is enrolled in the Plan by that participating employer; and
  • Has earned at least one month of Credited Service; and
  • Assessment payments are not more than 24 months past due.


American Family Life Assurance Company of New York, which is designated as CPF’s Medical Board.


This is the contribution amount that your participating employer is required to pay CPF on your behalf. The contribution amount is currently equal to 9% of your Earnings.


The Episcopal Church.

Clergy Pension Plan

The Church Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan, as amended from time to time.


The Church Pension Fund, a New York State corporation.

CPF is the plan administrator of the benefit plans explained in this Guide. As the plan administrator, CPF is responsible for the operation of the plans, including interpreting plan provisions and authorizing benefit payments. The plan administrator has the power and authority to interpret and construe the provisions of a plan and has sole discretion in making determinations under a plan. This includes but is not limited to determinations of fact and eligibility for benefits, and deciding any dispute that may arise regarding the rights of participants or their beneficiaries under a plan.

All interpretations and decisions of the plan administrator are final and binding on all interested parties. The plan administrator may delegate any or all of this authority to a third party. To the extent that the plan administrator has delegated its authority, the third party has all of the powers and responsibility of the plan administrator.

Credited Service

The years and months for which full Assessments have been paid to CPF on your behalf. Credited Service only includes service as a lay employee of a participating employer and generally requires completion of 1,000 hours of service in a 12-month period.

Death Benefit Plan

The Episcopal Church Lay Employees’ Death Benefit Plan, as amended from time to time.


A disability that results in the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or be of long, continued, and indefinite duration, as determined by Aflac. In order to continue to receive disability payments, CPF reserves the right to require that a member receive regular and appropriate care as determined by a qualified health care provider.

Early retirement age

Age 55 through age 64.


The sum of all the following annualized amounts* on which your participating employer is required to pay Assessments:

  1. Base salary (excluding housing) and scheduled taxable cash payments; plus
  2. Cash housing allowance and/or utilities; plus
  3. Employer contributions to a qualified and/or non-qualified plan; plus
  4. One-time payments (applies to month when paid); plus
  5. The value of employer-provided housing, which equals 30% of the sum of #1 — #4 above. However, if the sum of #1 — #4 above is less than the Clergy Pension Plan’s Hypothetical Minimum Compensation ($18,000 per year beginning on January 1, 2018), the value of employer-provided housing equals 30% of the Hypothetical Minimum Compensation.

* Any form of severance (including pay continuation following a termination of employment) should be excluded in all cases.

Note that if the only type of compensation that your employer provides is housing, then your Earnings equal 30% of the Clergy Pension Plan’s Hypothetical Minimum Compensation.

Employer-provided housing

A physical residence that is provided to you by your participating employer, such as a dormitory. This includes (1) housing that is owned or rented directly by your employer or (2) housing that your employer arranges to provide cost-free to you but that is not owned or rented directly by either you or your employer.

Highest Average Compensation

If you earn Credited Service on or after January 1, 2018, generally the average of the seven highest-paid, non-overlapping, 12-month periods during which you earned Credited Service over your entire career.

Hypothetical Minimum Compensation

An amount established by the Clergy Pension Plan to determine the value of your employer-provided housing in certain cases. Beginning January 1, 2018, the amount is $18,000 per year (or $1,500 per month).


Any person who is an Active member, Terminated member, or Retired member of the Plan. You are no longer considered a member when you die, your accrued benefit has been forfeited, or you have received a lump sum distribution of your entire retirement benefit.

Normal retirement age

Age 65 (or, if later, your age when your participating employer adopts the Plan).

Participating employer

An Episcopal organization that has adopted the Plan in accordance with the requirements set by CPF and that has not terminated its participation in the Plan.


The Episcopal Church Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan, as amended from time to time.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

A court order that has been approved by CPF that is used to divide your retirement benefit with an alternate payee (usually your former spouse). See If You Divorce Before You Retire for more information.

Retired member

A member who has begun receiving a retirement benefit from the Plan and has not subsequently returned to active service with a participating employer.

Terminated member

A member who is entitled to a vested benefit under the Plan and whose enrollment in the Plan has ended because of any of the following situations:

  • The member is not employed by a participating employer; or
  • The member is employed by a participating employer but is scheduled to work less than 1,000 hours per year; or
  • Assessments are more than 24 months past due (even though the member is employed by a participating employer and is scheduled to work 1,000 hours or more per year).