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Eligibility for the Benefits Plan

Depending on your position, you may be eligible to enroll in the Benefits Plan as detailed below. Please speak with your church treasurer or benefits administrator about participating.

Participating in the Traditional Program of the Benefits Plan

You are eligible to participate in the Traditional Program of the Benefits Plan if you meet the minimum effective salary requirement and if you are

  • an installed teaching elder;
  • a lay employee or teaching elder serving in a non-installed position working 20 hours or more per week.

To enroll, you and your employer must complete the Benefits Plan Membership Application and email, fax, or mail it to the Board of Pensions within 30 days of your requested effective date of coverage.

If you are a teaching elder serving in a specialized ministry, you are eligible for Benefits Plan participation if

  • you are a teaching elder who works 20 hours or more per week at a non-PC(USA) employer;
  • you meet the minimum effective salary requirement; and
  • your position/service is validated by your presbytery as an extension of ministry.

To enroll, email, fax, or mail a completed Benefits Plan Membership Application and written verification from the presbytery to the Board of Pensions.

Plan enrollment should apply to all employees within the same employment classification. See Administrative Rules 301 and 105 for information regarding levels of participation and prohibiting discrimination in enrollment practices.

Seminary Students

If you are a seminary student who meets the eligibility criteria, you are able to purchase Medical Plan coverage. See the Attending Seminary section for more information.

Family Members

Family members are eligible for medical coverage under the Traditional Program. Your employer may require that you contribute some or all of the allowable medical dues share if you have Member + Family coverage. Eligible family members are

  • spouses;
  • children up to age 26, regardless of marital status, financial dependency, or student status; and
  • permanently disabled children covered under the plan before they attain age 26.

If the employer requires a contribution toward Member + Family medical dues, a member may waive medical coverage for eligible family members. If the employer pays 100 percent of medical dues for Member + Family medical coverage (non-contributory coverage), the employer must determine if it will allow an employee to waive medical coverage for eligible family members if the family members have other qualified health plan coverage, through a spouse’s employer, for example.

Participating in the Affiliated Benefits Program

The Affiliated Benefits Program (ABP) offers the plan’s medical, death, and disability benefits without requiring participation in the Pension Plan. You cannot participate in the ABP if you are:

  • a teaching elder mandated by the Book of Order to participate in the Traditional Program;
  • a lay employee or teaching elder currently participating in the Traditional Program on either full or limited participation.

If you wish to participate in the Affiliated Benefits Program, please see your business administrator for enrollment details.

Participating in Optional Benefits Programs

As a new member of the Traditional Program or the Affiliated Benefits Program, you may be eligible to enroll in optional benefits programs if offered by your employer. Visit the Optional Programs section of pensions.org for more information on available benefits and eligibility criteria.

Cost Responsibility

The employer pays the entire dues for members enrolled in the Traditional Program (medical, pension, and death and disability). Employers may require members to contribute to the cost of dues for Member + Family medical coverage in the Traditional Program. Employers offering the Affiliated Benefits Program may require participants to pay for a portion of their medical coverage.