I recently read that the Lily Foundation is giving the CRCNA a million dollar grant to study the financial difficulties a Pastor may experience. I also understand that CSS in Canada and the Barnabas Foundation in the US will be asked to participate.
This topic should open the door to review the whole compensation program for pastors in local congregations.
The compensation arrangements in the CRCNA head office departments are well structured with salary grids and and benefits like pensions, etc. Congregations have no salary grids to work with and are left to their own devices when it comes to sending out a letter of call, which is a form of employment agreement.
The pension plans for ordained pastors have some really interesting methods of calculating pensions payable. Using country-wide average salaries and excluding clergy housing allowances are but two examples.
The CRCNA still has a "Defined Benefit" (DB) pension plan for its ordained pastors. Those plans in the private sector are being replaced with "Defined Contribution" (DC) plans. The DB plans in the public sector are dangerously underfunded as are some in the private sector.
This is one area where I believe the CRCNA has a weak spot that may lead to financial issues, especially for long term ordained pastors who have lived in church supplied housing for a good portion of their careers.
I hope that some of the Lily funds will be used to research this much larger issue.