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The CRCNA has defined benefit pension plans for ordained ministers of the Word serving in the United States and Canada. The primary features of the Plans include four benefit groups, as follows:

  • Retirement benefits commencing at age 66 or early retirement benefits in a reduced amount beginning at age 55.
  • Long-term disability benefits provided through an insurance company.
  • Survivors’ benefits paid to a surviving spouse when death of a member occurs while in active service.
  • Orphans’ benefits paid to a member’s orphaned children up to age 18, or to age 21, if in school.

To participate in the Ministers' Pension Plan (MPP), ordained pastors need to complete the MPP registration form and submit it to the pension office. 

There are costs associated with participation in the Plan. Organized churches are expected to pay an amount determined on the basis of a per member assessment amount multiplied by the number of professing members age 18 and older, or, if greater, the annual direct cost of participation of their first or only pastor. In addition, churches pay the direct cost associated with any additional ordained ministers in their employ. Emerging churches must pay the annual direct costs of their ordained pastors, but emerging churches not served by an ordained minister are not expected to pay based on per member assessments.

As mentioned above, the Ministers’ Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan. This means that the benefits paid by the Plan are defined (by formula), and the funding of the Plan is determined by actuarial calculations of the amount of money needed to fund the defined benefit.  Defined benefit plans place market and mortality risk with the Plan and the sponsoring organization. So, if markets fall and members live longer than expected, the Plan and the sponsor pick up the cost.

For additional information on the Plan, please review the Church Administration and Finance Booklet. You may also contact the pension office at 616-224-0722 or by email at [email protected].