Median and effective salary

Effective salary includes various types of compensation and/or reimbursements paid by congregations and employers to ministers of the Word and Sacrament and employees. Unique to the Board of Pensions, effective salary is not the same as the taxable income reported to the IRS or the Social Security Administration.

Median effective salary

The Board uses salary information reported to it as of May 1 of each year to set the median effective salary for the next year. When a member's annual effective salary is less than the median, pension credits, disability benefits, and death benefits are calculated based on the median effective salary.

The median effective salary is prorated for work schedules of less than 35 hours a week.

For 2025

The median effective salary for all members for 2025 is $70,000.

As part of the 2025 Benefits Plan changes, one median effective salary will be used to calculate death and disability benefits and pension credit accruals for any member making less than the median. This simplified method adds value to our income protection plans, improves benefits for some members, and supports parity among all plan members.

The median effective salary is based on the congregational ministers’ median. The median effective salary for non-minister members is eliminated.

For 2024

Classification Median effective
% Change
            for 2024for 2023 2024 vs. 2023

*KPCA ministers have the same median salary as employees.

For 2024, the Board set a median effective salary based on salary information for minister members of the Benefits Plan who are serving PC(USA) congregations. The congregational ministers' median effective salary applies to all minister members, whether they serve congregations or not, for purposes of calculating pension credits and benefits.

The Board also set a median effective salary based on salary information for non-minister members enrolled for pension and/or death and disability coverage.

Reporting effective salary

Employers must report the annual effective salary for each Benefits Plan member to the Board of Pensions. Effective salary is used in calculating employer dues and member benefits.

Effective salary determines:

  • pension dues and pension credit accrual
  • death and disability dues and benefits
  • medical dues under Pastor's Participation
  • deductibles and medical out-of-pocket maximums under the PPO option

To accurately calculate and report effective salary, an employer needs to know which compensation to include. The Total Effective Salary Calculator is designed to help with this task, as is Understanding Effective Salary.

Reporting salary changes

Salary changes must be reported online through Benefits Connect within 60 days of the effective date of the change. Salary changes will not be accepted through Benefits Connect more than 60 days before or after the effective date. Timely reporting ensures that congregations and employers are properly invoiced, and ministers and employees receive the appropriate benefits.