What's the Result of Opting Out of the Minister's Pension Plan?
April 3, 2011
Updated March 14, 2017
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Wondering if a church "opts out" of the Minister's Pension Plan, even temporarily, if it's possible to pick it up again in the future? Or is it a case of once you're out, you're out??
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Synod designed the pension plans in the US and Canada to serve the retirement needs of ordained ministers. "It is only by full participation of all congregations that there will be reasonable assurance that all active and retired ministers will receive a pension on retirement; that their eligible widows will receive a pension upon the minister's death; and that disability, survivor, and orphan benefits are paid." (Ministers' Pension Plan Summary, p. 8).
A minister may go inactive in the Plan for a time (and therefore not receive credited service for this time). However synod has determined that all organized churches who are vacant (or don't have a minister participating in the pension plan) would continue to contribute to the pension plan on a per member basis.
When churches fail to pay amounts rightfully due, other churches must eventually assume the obligation. We realize that financial constraits sometimes make payment difficult. However, the assistance of classis should be requested, and all other means should be explore before any denial of payment is the only offered course of action.
If you have additional questions about the pension plan, please call or email the Ministers Pension Office: [email protected] or call Sheri Laninga 616-224-0722 or Katie Henry 616-224-5886 with any questions.
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