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Eligibility and Vesting

Employees normally scheduled to work at least 20 hours a week (excluding overtime) may be eligible to participate in the Pension Plan:

  • Installed pastors — Coverage for installed positions is required, in order to align with the Book of Order (G-2.0804). Other teaching elders, including those in specialized ministries and temporary pastoral positions, may be enrolled at an employer's discretion.
  • Other employees — Other employees of employers such as churches, mid councils, and agencies, may participate at an employer's discretion. All employees within a benefit group must be treated consistently.
  • Transitional participation ― Members on transitional participation coverage may continue to participate for a limited time while seeking new eligible service.

Effective Dates of Plan Participation

Installed pastors participate as of the first day of the call. Other ministers of the Word and Sacrament or other employees begin participating when they are enrolled.


Vesting refers to your non-forfeitable right to a benefit. Installed pastors and other ministers are automatically vested in the pension benefit when enrolled in the plan.

If you are an employee other than an installed pastor or other minister, you are vested in the pension benefit as soon as any of the following occur:

  • you complete three years of eligible service*;
  • you reach age 65;
  • your employer withdraws from the plan; or
  • the plan terminates.

*Even if you were not enrolled in the Benefits Plan, employment for at least 20 hours a week by an eligible employer counts toward vesting in the pension benefit. Full-time attendance at seminary also counts for ministers who serve in a validated ministry of the Church following ordination.