Uniform annual contribution
The current annual contribution is $750 per year per unit ($200 quarterly), well within the financial capability of every congregation. Participants may subscribe to multiple units. Annual contributions by the church or institution on behalf of the minister or employee are neither taxable or subject to Social Security tax to the member. The Plan cannot receive pension payments after age 65 for ministers or employees.
Although the Plan has historically charged (and intends to continue to charge) the annual/quarterly amounts listed above, the required contribution could vary depending on investment return, mortality, age distribution, and other factors. Any variation in the cost of a contribution unit will be determined by actuarial analysis.
A member is vested when one full year’s contribution ($750) has been credited to him or her. This means that a member will collect a pension payment when he reaches age 65 even though he or she has been in the Plan for only a single year.
The Plan is portable. As the member moves from one church or institution to another, he or she carries pension credits. Transfer from one church or institution to a new affiliation is simple. It requires only notice to the Plan Administrator of the projected move, and the commitment of the new church or institution to continue contributions on his or her behalf by submitting a signed contract for participation.
Extra benefits have been given, in the past, to members who have been in the plan four years or more. This amount is above the benefits noted above and in the Plan document. However, any further distribution of excess funds is not guaranteed but depends upon the Plan’s investment earnings.
NOTE: Each year active members will receive an annual report projecting the scheduled monthly benefit based on continuous service to age 65; the projected monthly income based on accrued contributions; and the projected monthly income assuming the net trust earnings reach certain levels.
Recent Graduate Bonus
To encourage early participation, the Plan offers the incentive of 50% reduction on the first year of the first unit for recent graduates of a college or seminary that enter service with a congregation, mission, or faith-based nonprofit ministry. To be eligible for this bonus an applicant must:
- enroll before his or her 30th birthday,
- enroll within 12 months of receiving his or her degree, and
- be employed by a church or parachurch organization.
The first year will be counted as fully funded with only $375 invested. Each year thereafter will be charged at the annual customary rate (currently $750 a year ($200 a quarter) per unit).
Presently, the Trustee of the Plan’s assets is the US Bank of Joplin, Missouri. Other co-trustees or successor trustees may be retained by the Board to manage some or all of the Plan’s assets. Only banks or similar financial institutions, supervised by the federal or state government, are eligible to be Trustees.
Plan Asset Management
Diversification is a key responsibility for the fiduciaries of any retirement plan. The assets of The Christian Churches Pension Plan are diversified according to asset managers, investment philosophies, and asset classes. The Plan assets are divided among and managed by the following: