As part of The Episcopal Church, we provide a pension plan for any lay employee, who is 18 years or older and working 1,000 hours per year. The pension plan incorporates a death benefit and upon reaching the normal retirement date of age 65 provides benefits in the form of a monthly annuity of 1% of final monthly compensation for each year of service. The Lay Pension Plan can be either a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution Plan (similar to an IRA). Up to 9% of the employee’s salary will be contributed at no cost to the staff member (depending on selections by the employee).
What you need to know
- ALL lay employees scheduled to work a minimum of 1,000 hours annually and whose Diocese, Parish, Mission of other ecclesiastical organization or body is subject to the authority of the Church(1) must be enrolled in one of the Lay Employee Pension Plans(2) offered by the Church Pension Fund by the calendar year beginning January 1, 2013.
- Congregations and schools that currently do not have lay employees or whose lay employees are not schedule to work a minimum of 1,000 hours annually, and do not wish to adopt a lay employee pension plan at this time, are asked to complete and forward the Church Pension Fund’s “Acknowledgement Form” no later than January 1, 2013 (3).
- If a school’s contribution to employee pensions are above the minimum required contribution or match percentage for any one year, the school may not lower its contribution or match. Schools must adopt either a TIAA-CREF sponsored pension plan or a Church Pension Fund sponsored lay pension plan by January 1, 2013.
- If a diocese has determined that a school serving children of any age is subject to the authority of the Church, the school has until January 1, 2018 to achieve the full employer base and matching contributions for defined contribution plans.(4)
- While this phrase has existed in the Constitution & Canons of the Episcopal Church since 1914, the final determination as to whether or not a specific organization is subject to the authority of the Church will be made by each diocese. Relative questions can be found at Church Pension (CPG) website here.
- There are two such plans: A Defined Benefit Plan and a Defined Contribution Plan. The Defined Contribution Plan requires employers to contribute a base percentage (5%) on an employee’s compensation plus a dollar‐for‐dollar matching contribution to an account that is held in the employee’s name. Employees must contribute to their accounts to trigger their employer ‘s matching contribution. The Defined Benefit Plan (“The Episcopal Church Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan”) requires employers to pay an assessment to the Church Pension Fund that is based on a percentage – currently 9% ‐ of the employee’s compensation. No employee contributions can be made to this Plan.
- Text of D042 is available at http://www.generalconvention/gc/resolutions ‐ Click on C042