Defined Benefit Pension Plan

The Defined Benefit Pension Plan provides participants with a guaranteed monthly income throughout retirement.

You can help to provide financial security to your employees by offering the Defined Benefit Pension Plan. Participants in the plan receive a monthly income throughout retirement, and eligible survivors may receive income after the participant's death.

How the Defined Benefit Pension Plan works

The Defined Benefit Pension Plan is a qualified church 401(a) defined benefit retirement plan. It is ​funded through employer dues and investment earnings in the Balanced Investment Portfolio, which the Board of Pensions maintains. The Board's long-term investment approach is intended to ensure that the portfolio is well positioned for long-term success.

Pension credits and apportionments

An employee's pension benefit grows through annual pension credits for each year of eligible plan participation as well as through increases known as experience apportionments. Apportionments, granted by our Board of Directors, are periodic, permanent increases to the pension benefits of all participants. As of 2022, the Board has granted an apportionment for 10 consecutive years, representing a decade cumulative increase of 34.7 percent.


If you continue to offer the Defined Benefit Pension Plan to your employees, members are vested in the plan when they

  • complete three years of eligible service (including seminary and eligible military service); or
  • reach age 65.

Pension benefit amount

The amount of a participant's pension benefit depends on the total pension credits accrued, age at retirement, and the payment option the participant chooses. Read more details about how the Defined Benefit Pension Plan works.

Eligibility to participate

You may offer the Defined Benefit Pension Plan to employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week. The plan is included in the Pastor's Participation and the Minister's Choice ​​benefits packages.


The Defined Benefit Pension Plan is paid 100 percent by the employer. Dues for the plan are 8.5 percent of effective salary. Employees do not contribute to the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

Interested in offer​ing the Defined Benefit Pension Plan? Here's what to do next.

For current employers

If you currently offer benefits through the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), you may elect this benefit when you update your Employer Agreement on Benefits Connect for the following year. Employer Agreements are usually available for updating beginning in July through October. 

For new employers

If you do not currently offer benefits through the Benefits Plan and would like to learn more about its features and how the Board of Pensions serves employers, call our Employer Services team at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) (TTY: 711) to discuss how we can best meet your and your employees' needs.