Clergy Pension Plans

Because of changes enacted at the 2012 General Conference and at our Annual Conference in June 2013, modifications to the Clergy Security Retirement Plan (CRSP) which began in 2014 will have a long lasting effect on our active clergy’s future pension benefits. The new CRSP plan will reduce clergy benefits in the future, but it will also reduce costs to our churches in 2014 and forward.

CRSP Defined Benefit: Under the pre-2014 CRSP, the benefit formula for determining your annual DB benefit will be 1.25% of the Denominational Average Compensation (DAC) at retirement multiplied by years of service. The multiplier for service beginning January 1, 2014 has been reduced to 1%. (The pre-2014 CRSP benefit formula will remain effective for all service prior to January 1, 2014.)

CRSP Defined Contribution:  Under the pre-2014 CRSP, the Church contributes 3% of your total compensation to the DC plan. Beginning January 1, 2014, the Church contributes 2% of your compensation. In addition, the Church will match the amount you contribute to UMPIP—up to 1% of compensation —and deposit those matching funds into your CRSP DC account. Therefore, if you contribute at least 1% of your compensation to UMPIP, the contributions to your CRSP DC account will be 3%, the same as previously under the pre-2014 CRSP. While a 1% contribution to UMPIP will earn you the matching funds, a higher level of contributions may better prepare you for retirement, particularly given the reduction in the CRSP DB benefit.

Our conference voted that appointed clergy serving 75% or greater will be enrolled in CRSP effective 1/1/14. Churches with clergy serving 75% or greater will be billed by the conference for CRSP at a rate of 11.8% of clergy total compensation (total compensation = base salary plus the value of a parsonage (25%) or housing allowance).

Starting in January 2014, clergy serving less than 75% who are no longer eligible to participate in CRSP are provided, by vote of the Annual Conference, with church contributions to their personal UMPIP account (United Methodist Personal Investment Plan). Each local church will contribute either 10.8% or 11.8% of compensation to their pastor's pension account. The level of contribution is based on the voluntary contribution by the pastor of 1% that would be matched by the church. If clergy elect to contribute at least 1% of their compensation, the church contribution increases to 11.8%.

To maximize retirement benefits, all clergy, part-time and full-time, should enroll in and contribute at least 1% to UMPIP.

What you need to do:

Each church must become a “Plan Sponsor” with the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. To become a plan sponsor, an Adoption Agreement must be signed and sent to the General Board. Once approved by the General Board, the church will receive a copy of the document for their files and will be billed monthly for both the clergy contribution (if any) and the church contribution. The UMPIP invoices will be sent directly from the General Board to each church; the Conference office will not be involved in billing or collecting UMPIP funds. Federal law requires that contributions be remitted as soon as possible but no later than the 15th of the month following the month in which the contributions were made.

The forms needed for your church to become a Plan Sponsor and for clergy to enroll are located here:

UMPIP Adoption Agreement for full-time clergy

UMPIP Adoption Agreement for part-time clergy

UMPIP Clergy Before/After Tax Enrollment Form

Clergy Beneficiary Form