Assistance Program access expanded to serve more

The Board of Pensions has announced extensive changes to the Assistance Program. These changes play an important role in the Board's support of wholeness and broaden eligibility to include more ministers and employees of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and affiliated organizations. Detailed below are the changes, which take effect January 1, 2022.

한국어 | Leer en español

New debt-relief program for ministers announced

Minister Debt Relief is for enrollees in Pastor's Participation or Minister's Choice earning less than the median effective salary ($62,100 for 2022). This new program, a three-year pilot, provides grants of up to $10,000 for those ministers who qualify.

The Board will promote Minister Debt Relief widely among communities of color and groups that have been historically marginalized in the denomination, reflecting the commitment we share with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Previous Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations (HPHC) grant recipients are not eligible for a grant from this program at this time.

Eligibility and amounts expanded

The Board of Pensions has expanded eligibility and, in some cases, grant amounts for the following assistance programs.

For all active members

Adoption Assistance

  • Grant amount increases from $3,000 to $6,500 per child.

Transition-to-College Assistance 

  • Dependent child may be enrolled in any post-high school education or training: college, university, community college, or technical or trade school.
  • Dependent child may be enrolled part time or full time (12 credits per year or six credits per semester).
  • All dependents entering post-high school education up to age 26 (excluding post-baccalaureate) may be eligible.
  • Flat award is $2,000 for members whose adjusted gross income is no more than two times the median effective salary.
  • Additional awards of $1,000 for full-time attendance at a Presbyterian college or university are available.

For retirees

Housing Supplements

  • Awards for assisted living are up to $4,400 monthly per individual. Couples can be considered independently for up to $4,400 monthly each (totaling up to $8,800 monthly) in grants when both individuals need assisted living.
  • When both members of a couple are in assisted living and receiving the same level of care, 75 percent of income is expected to be contributed to living expenses.
  • Awards for at-home care are up to $4,400 monthly per individual for custodial care based on agency recommendation.
  • Additional one-time matching grant with continuing care retirement community up to $3,000 for entry fees for Presbyterian homes and communities.
  • Up to 10-year service credit for pensioners serving Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, mid councils, and/or agencies without benefit of Defined Benefit Pension Plan participation. Pensioner must have at least five years' enrollment in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

Income Supplements

  • 15 years in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan and annual income no greater than congregational ministers' median; no proration. (Note: Current participants with 10 to 14 years of pension participation are grandfathered into the program.)
  • Up to 10-year service credit for pensioners serving PC(USA) congregations, mid councils, and/or agencies without benefit of Defined Benefit Pension Plan participation. Pensioner must have at least five years' enrollment in the pension plan.

Retiree Medical Grants

  • Total annual income that is less than 1.2 times the congregational ministers' median ($74,520 in 2022).
  • 15 years in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

For ministers in active service

Minister Educational Debt Assistance

  • Participation in Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations is no longer required.
  • Participants must complete CREDO or online education modules.

Sabbath Sabbatical Support

  • Grant amount increases from up to $3,000 to up to $4,000 per applicant.

Need assistance?

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.