What is a church pension plan?
A church pension plan is a retirement plan that is established and maintained by a church for its employees. The term “church” applies to all religious denominations, and the term “employees” includes both clergy and lay employees.
Church plans that are established and maintained by a church can also cover the employees of hospitals, schools, and other nonprofit organizations that are associated with that church.
In addition, a plan that is maintained by an organization associated with a church that has as its principal function the administration and funding of a pension plan can be treated as a church plan.
Learn more about church plans by reading these fact sheets:
- The facts about church pension plans
- Why does it matter if a pension plan is a church plan?
- Why are church pension plans not covered by federal laws?
- What are the types of church pension plans?
- The legislative history of church pension plans
- What can you do to protect employees in church pension plans?
- Workers covered by church pension plans tell their stories
Looking for help with your retirement plan?
If you have a problem with your retirement plan, free help may be available from the U.S. Administration on Aging's network of Pension Counseling and Information Projects. Find help now.
PensionHelp America connects people who need help with their pension, 401(k), and other retirement plans with the pension counseling projects, legal services providers, and government agencies that can help answer their questions. Visit www.pensionhelp.org.
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Retirement USA is a national initiative that is working for a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees. Visit the website.
Did You Know?
A defined benefit plan is a pension plan, usually funded entirely by employer contributions, that pays benefits according to a formula. The formula is typically based on the participant's wages or salary and length of time spent working for an employer or group of employers. Defined benefit plans are also known as traditional or guaranteed pensions.