The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) traces its roots to the Fund for Pious Uses, established by the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717 to care for pastors and their widows and children. As one of six national agencies of the General Assembly, which governs the PC(USA), it administers the Benefits Plan for PC(USA) employers, including congregations.
Serving Those Who Serve the Church
An independent Board of Directors, elected by the General Assembly, oversees management of the Board. A not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Board of Pensions is driven not by profit motive but by its mission — to uphold the centuries-deep covenant of the Church to care for those who serve it. It is brothers and sisters caring for sisters and brothers.
Approximately 185 dedicated professionals — ministers and other employees — work at the Board of Pensions, whose headquarters is in Philadelphia.
Offering Comprehensive Benefits
The Board provides pension, medical, and death and disability benefits; financial assistance; and educational programs to support a ministry of wholeness, which promotes spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being. More than 60,000 people, including family members and retirees, are served through the Benefits Plan in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
In an effort to serve more, serve better, and serve the Church, the Board introduced a redesigned Benefits Plan in 2017, with benefits available through a broad menu of options (including a package of benefits required for installed pastors using a dues model known as Pastor's Participation). Since the launch of the 2017 plan, the number of active plan members in the Benefits Plan has increased from nearly 12,000 to just over 14,000 — a 19 percent increase — as of January 1, 2018. This growth reverses decades of decline in plan membership.
Expanding Our Range of Care
In 2019, the Board will introduce several new options and features to the Benefits Plan, as part of its ongoing commitment to offer employers flexibility and choice in providing benefits to more employees.
As a step toward supporting and renewing the leadership of the PC(USA), in March the Board of Directors of the Board of Pensions approved Living by the Gospel, a guide for church employers on structuring ministers' terms of call. It details the benefits, programs, and assistance that are available through Pastor's Participation, and shows how they work together to support ministers and their families. It also introduces a dues incentive program for churches, Pathways to Renewal. It is our hope that Living by the Gospel becomes an annual document and reference tool for the Church.