Dues structures for ministers and incentives

​Pastor's Participation and Pathways to Renewal are dues structures designed to support the well-being of ministers and their families, as well as the long-term vitality of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations.

Pastor's Participation

Pastor's Participation is a comprehensive benefits package designed to meet the needs of ministers and their families. Installed pastors must be enrolled in Pastor’s Participation. Ministers who are not in an installed position and are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week may be offered Pastor's Participation or menu options.

Here are the benefits you are required to offer to ministers in Pastor's Participation and who is responsible for the cost:

  • Pension Plan: Employer pays 11 percent of effective salary. 
  • Death and Disability Plan: Employer pays 1 percent of effective salary. 
  • PPO medical coverage (full family): Employer pays 25 percent of effective salary (or the minimum dues rate).
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Employer may, but is not required to, contribute on a member's behalf as a fixed and/or matching* contribution.
  • Dental coverage: Employer may, but is not required to, contribute to the cost. 
  • Vision eyewear coverage: Employer may, but is not required to, contribute to the cost.
  • Supplemental death coverage: Employer may, but is not required to, contribute to the cost.
  • Supplemental disability coverage (if minister is eligible): Employer may, but is not required to, contribute to the cost.

Employers may, but are not required to, offer flexible spending accounts to ministers in Pastor's Participation.

*An employer matching contribution to the Retirement Savings Plan is not considered part of effective salary, so the employer cost for dues-based benefits (such as medical coverage in Pastor's Participation or Pension Plan participation) is not affected. (A fixed employer contribution to the Retirement Savings Plan, as a percentage of pay or a dollar amount, is considered part of effective salary and included in the calculation of dues).

Menu options

There is no work-hour requirement for ministers in self-employed validated service to participate in medical coverage through menu options.

There is no work-hour minimum for ministers or employees to participate in the RSP, Dental Plan, or vision eyewear coverage.

Pathways to Renewal

Pathways to Renewal brings young ministers into the Benefits Plan with the full benefits of Pastor's Participation at substantially reduced dues. It is designed to provide hope of renewed leadership to small congregations and nourishment to innovative ministries.

For Pathways to Renewal, Pastor's Participation dues are cut from 37 percent of effective salary to 19.75 percent:

  • 2 percent for pension
  • 1 percent for death and disability
  • 16.75 percent for medical (two-thirds of standard medical dues, with a minimum medical dues rate of $6,000)

Eligibility for the dues discount runs five years or until the end of the employment relationship, whichever comes first.

Benefits Grants for Organizing Pastors and Evangelists

These benefits grants support the evangelism efforts of presbyteries planting churches and cultivating new ministries by funding the enrollment of organizing pastors and evangelists in Pastor’s Participation. The grants for this comprehensive coverage, which includes family medical, pension, Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and death and disability, take effect January 1, 2020.

For a presbytery to be eligible for the grant, the minister must

  • be employed by the presbytery in church job code 301 for no less than 20 hours per week;
  • have an effective salary that is less than the congregational ministers' median ($59,100 for 2019);
  • not currently be enrolled in Pastor’s Participation and not have been enrolled for Pastor’s Participation in this employment relationship, or with this employer, for at least two years before enrollment in this grant program; and
  • not have initiated a retirement benefit with the Board of Pensions.