As part of our commitment to mutual care and wholeness, the Board of Pensions has once again expanded access to the
Assistance Program to serve more ministers, employees, retirees, and surviving spouses who have financial need. This latest Assistance Program expansion includes broadened eligibility, increased grant amounts, and two new grants. Detailed below are the changes and additions, which take effect January 1, 2023.
Clergy Wellness Support is a new well-being grant for ministers enrolled in Pastor's Participation or Minister's Choice who have an effective salary that does not exceed $80,000 per year (excluding manse value). This assistance supports vocational, spiritual, mental, and physical well-being through participation in programs including the following:
An eligible minister may receive a grant up to $5,000 to cover program and travel fees once every six years.
The Employee Vocation Program provides educational debt relief to employees of PC(USA)-affiliated retirement communities. The grant amount is $5,000 per year, for up to five years. Total awards may not exceed $25,000 over five years.
To qualify, an applicant must
This is a pilot program that will provide up to 150 grants in 2023.
Eligibility for the following grants has been expanded to serve more members in need in 2023. Additionally, the grant amount for Sabbath Sabbatical Support has been increased.
Adoption Assistance||$6,500||Retired members and surviving spouses receiving a pension benefit from the Board of Pensions are now eligible.|
|Emergency Assistance||Varies by need||Members enrolled in at least one benefit through the Benefits Plan of the PC(USA) now may be eligible (excluding term-vested members and members enrolled only in the Employee Assistance Plan).|
Grant sharing between the Board of Pensions and a presbytery or employer is encouraged but no longer required.
|Minister Debt Relief||Up to $10,000||Ministers who have an effective salary that does not exceed $80,000 per year, excluding manse value, now may be eligible.|
|Minister Educational Debt Assistance||Up to $25,000||Ministers who have an effective salary that does not exceed $80,000 per year, excluding manse value, now may be eligible.|
Household adjusted gross income limit no longer applies.
|Retiree Medical Grants||Up to $2,500||Retired members now must have at least five years' enrollment in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan, with up to a 10-year service credit for pensioners serving PC(USA) congregations, mid councils, and/or agencies without benefit of Defined Benefit Pension Plan participation — for a combined 15 years.|
Retired members with an adjusted gross income less than 1.2 times the congregational ministers' median ($77,760 in 2023) may be eligible.
|Sabbath Sabbatical Support||Up to $4,000*||Ministers who have an effective salary that does not exceed $80,000 per year, excluding manse value, now may be eligible.|
*Grant amount increases from up to $4,000 to up to $5,000 per applicant.
|Transition-to-College Assistance||Up to $3,000||Retired members and surviving spouses receiving a pension benefit from the Board of Pensions are now eligible.|
|"My gratitude extends to the Board of Pensions for the Sabbath Sabbatical Support grant. I spent three months resting, renewing my relationship with God and family, and serving in mission."|
— Assistance recipient
If you have questions about these changes, or if you are interested in applying for one of our assistance programs, call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) to discuss how we might help.