How the Retirement Savings Plan works

The Retirement Savings Plan allows you to save a portion of your salary, on a tax-advantaged basis, up to the annual limit set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


The RSP is an optional, voluntary plan, funded by employee and/or employer contributions. You may contribute a portion of your taxable salary, excluding housing allowance, subject to the annual IRS dollar limit ($19,500 for 2021*). Contributions may be made on a pretax basis, Roth (after-tax) basis, or both.

  • Pretax contributions: Federal taxes on contributions and earnings are deferred until you receive distributions. That means savings could grow faster than if they were in a taxable account.
  • Roth (after-tax) contributions: Contributions are taxed as ordinary income. Earnings accrue on a tax-free basis.

Your employer may, but is not required to, contribute to the RSP on your behalf (even if you do not contribute). The total of your and your employer’s contributions in 2021* cannot exceed $58,000 or 100 percent of cash salary, whichever is lower. If your employer matches your contributions, the matching contributions are not included in your effective salary.

Catch-up contributions

If you are age 50 years or older, you may contribute up to an additional maximum amount ($6,500 for 2021*), if you have contributed the maximum allowable amount to the RSP and other defined contribution plans. The total of your and your employer’s contributions in 2021* cannot exceed $64,500.

In addition, eligible long-service RSP participants who have at least 15 years of service with PC(USA) churches and affiliated employers may contribute an additional amount ($3,000 for 2021*), subject to a lifetime maximum of $15,000.

Refer to IRS publication 571 for details.

*Contribution limits will be updated for 2022 when that information becomes available from the IRS.

Rollover contributions

You may be able to roll over balances from other, eligible, employer-sponsored retirement plans [403(b), 401(k), etc.] into your Retirement Savings Plan account. Call Fidelity at 800-343-0860 for additional information.

Compound earnings

Your invested contributions have the potential to produce earnings, and those earnings are automatically reinvested in your account with the potential to produce additional earnings. When the earnings generate earnings, the result is “compound” earnings. The longer this process goes on, the greater your opportunity to build a substantial account.

Note: Investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.


Fidelity deducts an administrative fee of $3.75 from your RSP account quarterly.


Vesting refers to a non-forfeitable right to a benefit. You are always fully vested in your own contributions and related investment earnings. Unless otherwise specified in your organization’s Employer Agreement with the Board of Pensions, you are immediately fully vested in any employer contributions and/or matching contributions, and related investment earnings in your account.