The concept of community nature underlies the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Many features of the plan are designed so that those with the greatest resources help support those with the least. Dues and employer and employee contributions, along with investment earnings, finance the plan.
Pension and death and disability coverage are dues-based, as is medical coverage under Pastor’s Participation. Dues are tied to effective salary. They are not related to the benefits provided to each individual; they represent each employer’s share of the total cost of the Benefits Plan. Employees may not contribute to dues.
The cost of medical coverage under menu options is not based on dues but on the actual cost of coverage. Members and employers may share the cost.
Installed pastors must be enrolled in Pastor’s Participation. Eligible other ministers of the Word and Sacrament may be enrolled in Pastor’s Participation or menu options. Other employees may be enrolled only in menu options.
Members in the Medical Plan PPO option, whether in Pastor’s Participation or menu options, share in the cost of medical coverage through deductibles and maximum copayments tied to a percentage of salary, thereby providing greater protection for those with lesser means.
The Board bills on a 30-day-month cycle. If an employer fails to submit payment, its employees will lose benefits coverage.
Medical dues for Pastor’s Participation are 25 percent of effective salary (subject to the minimum and maximum dues rates, regardless of family status).
Medical coverage under menu options is by coverage level: Member-only, Member + Spouse, Member +
Child(ren), and Member + Family. Coverage level costs are employer-specific, based on the actual cost of coverage, with regional and/or demographic adjustments.
Employers must pay at least 50 percent of the cost of Member-only coverage under the lowest-cost option they offer. (They may offer the PPO and/or the EPO.) Employees may be asked to pay up to 100 percent of the cost of covering eligible family members.
Pension and Death and Disability
Pension dues are 11 percent of effective salary (subject to the minimum and maximum dues rates); death and disability dues, 1 percent. Employers must provide pension and death and disability coverage under Pastor’s Participation. They may provide one or both under menu options. If death and disability is provided without pension, dues are 2.5 percent of effective salary.
Employers must offer dental coverage under Pastor’s Participation and may offer it under menu options. They choose whether to contribute to the cost of coverage. The cost varies depending on which Dental Plan option the employee enrolls in and the coverage level selected.
Supplemental Death and Supplemental Disability
Employers must offer supplemental death and supplemental disability coverage under Pastor’s Participation and may offer the coverage under menu options. Members must be enrolled for death and disability coverage to be eligible for supplemental coverage. Employers may share in the cost of coverage.
The cost of supplemental death coverage is determined by age, coverage level selected, and tobacco use.
The cost of supplemental disability coverage is determined by the increment of income protected. Coverage is available in increments of $10,000 of protected income over $100,000. It is available only to members whose effective salary is at least $110,000.
When a church has a vacant installed position for which it plans to call a replacement, it must pay dues of 12 percent of the pension participation basis of the most recent minister in the position. Dues payments continue for the first 12 months of the vacancy.
An element of community nature, vacancy dues subsidize the Medicare Supplement Plan.
The Board may waive vacancy dues if, in its sole determination, the situation warrants it. The presbytery of jurisdiction may request a waiver, in writing, on behalf of the church. The request should include all the supporting circumstances.
Examples of relevant circumstances are
- a significant loss of members or income;
- trauma within the life of the church; and
- damage from a natural disaster.
A waiver of vacancy dues is not a waiver of plan dues once the position is filled.