Salary continuation benefit

​If you are enrolled in the Death and Disability Plan, the salary continuation benefit that the Board pays to beneficiaries depends on your status at the time of death.


If you are active or disabled: The benefit equals the death benefit basis*, payable in 12 equal monthly installments after your death.

If you are retired: The benefit is designed to assist with funeral expenses, and is tied to your retirement date:

  • Within three years of your retirement from active membership, the benefit is based on the death benefit basis* upon retirement and is reduced by 1/12 every three months after your retirement date.
  • After you are retired for three years, the benefit is the minimum of $10,000,** payable in a one-time payment.

If you are terminated vested member of the Pension Plan: Beneficiaries may be eligible for the minimum benefit, $10,000, if you were receiving a retirement pension benefit on January 1, 2007, or met the Rule of 70 at retirement.

*The death benefit basis is the greater of the pension participation basis (annual effective salary or 25 percent of the congregational ministers’ median, whichever is more, up to the IRS maximum of $285,000, increased from $280,000 in 2019) or the applicable median (prorated for part-time employment).

**Reflects plan provisions effective January 1, 2020. The benefit was $9,000 in 2019.

Applying for and receiving benefits

Generally, when your family member or survivor reports your death to the Board of Pensions, the Board sends a Death Benefits Claim form to your spouse, beneficiary, and, when applicable, covered dependents. The Board will pay benefits once it receives a completed form, a copy of the death certificate, and any outstanding pension and/or disability overpayments, as applicable.

The Board pays benefits to your beneficiary(ies) on file with the Board of Pensions at the time of your death as designated through Benefits Connect.

If you do not designate a beneficiary, the Board pays the salary continuation benefit in the following order to your

  • spouse, provided the marriage occurred at least one year before your death or any disability benefits began;
  • dependent children under age 21 who are not in a marriage, and permanently disabled children age 21 or older who are not in a marriage and depended on you for support for 12 months before and on the date of death;
  • children, regardless of age; 
  • estate.