More choices and new benefits for 2021

​​At the Board of Pensions, we have a vision to provide every employee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with access to benefits that support wholeness, and to offer more choices to congregations and PC(USA)-affiliated employers. 2021 moves us closer to serving more employers and members with the revised Benefits Plan of the PC(USA).

Beginning January 1, 2021, a new benefits package for ministers not in installed positions, called Minister’s Choice; two new disability plans (temporary and long term); and an expanded Term Life Plan will become available. Employers may begin to select benefits for 2021 in mid-July when their Employer Agreement becomes available.

The 2021 Benefits Plan document will be available in May.

Announcing Minister’s Choice

Minister’s Choice is a new benefits package that provides important financial protection during active service and into retirement for ministers who are not in installed positions. It also expands access to assistance and education programs now available only through Pastor's Participation. Minister's Choice includes:

red arrowDefined Benefit Pension Plan     

red arrowDeath and Disability Plan      

red arrowTemporary Disability Plan    

red arrowEmployee Assistance Plan   

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By offering this benefits package, employers can help provide ministers and their families with a dependable source of income in retirement as well as peace of mind in knowing that their loved ones will be protected if the unexpected happens. Employers may offer Minister's Choice and select additional benefits from our Retirement Programs, Health Programs, and Tax-Advantaged Accounts.

Any minister who is not an installed pastor and is employed at least 20 hours per week is eligible for Minister's Choice, and the cost to the employer is 10 percent of effective salary.

*Member must meet eligibility requirements. 

Ministers enrolled in Pastor's Participation will be provided with a new benefit as part of this package beginning January 1, 2021. The Temporary Disability Plan, new for 2021, will provide income protection in the event of short-term disability for up to 90 days after a 14-day waiting period. Along with the long-term disability benefits already available through the Death and Disability Plan, ministers in Pastor's Participation will have comprehensive financial protection should they become unable to work.

Pension dues will be reduced for the first time in the plan's history, from 11 percent of effective salary to 8.5 percent. This reduction will offset an increase in medical dues for the Pastor's Participation benefits package, from 25 percent to 27 percent — the first increase in three years. The total cost, though, for employers to provide this comprehensive package in 2021 will remain at 37 percent of effective salary:

  • 27 percent medical
  • 8.5 percent pension
  • 1 percent death and disability
  • 0.5 percent temporary disability

New disability plans

In addition to the disability benefits offered as part of the Death and Disability Plan, two new disability plans will be available for 2021. These plans offer employers greater choice and the opportunity to provide this critical financial protection to more employees.

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Temporary Disability Plan. In the event of a short-term disability, this financial protection benefit provides employees with 60 percent of effective salary capped at the IRS maximum ($285,000 in 2020) for up to 90 days after a 14-day waiting period. This plan will be included in the Pastor’s Participation and the new Minister's Choice benefits packages. Employers may offer it to employees not covered through those packages at a cost of $0.45 per $10 of weekly salary.   

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Long-Term Disability Plan. This benefit offers financial protection for employees with a long-term disability that extends beyond 90 days, providing them with 60 percent of effective salary capped at the IRS maximum ($285,000 in 2020) throughout their disability. Employers may provide this plan to employees who are not enrolled in the Death and Disability Plan at a cost of $0.35 per $100 of monthly salary. When the Long-Term Disability Plan is offered with the Temporary Disability Plan, employees are provided with comprehensive financial protection should they become unable to work.      

The Board of Pensions will administer both plans through Lincoln Financial Group, a proven leader in the industry and the current administrator for the disability benefits offered as part of the Death and Disability Plan.

Expanded Term Life Plan

The Term Life Plan will offer the same low-cost coverage as the 2020 Benefits Plan with an additional feature for employers for 2021. Employers can choose to offer:

red arrowa fixed amount of coverage: $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $25,000, or $50,000; or

red arrowan income-based benefit amount, one times a member’s effective salary (new for 2021).   

No evidence of insurability is required at any time with either feature. Employers pay the full cost of Term Life Plan coverage.

Benefits available for 2021

Retirement Programs

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  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • Retirement Savings Plan

Financial Protection Programs

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  • Death and Disability Plan
  • Term Life Plan
  • Temporary Disability Plan
  • Long-Term Disability Plan 

Health Programs

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  • Medical Plan, including PPO, EPO, and HDHP options
  • Employee Assistance Plan
  • Vision Eyewear Plan
  • Dental Plan

Tax-Advantaged Accounts

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  • Dependent care flexible spending account
  • Healthcare flexible spending account
  • Health savings account


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We're here to help

​The Board of Pensions is here to answer any questions about new benefits for 2021. If you need assistance, contact us.