Life Necessities

Health Insurance

The Churches of God, General Conference recommends that every pastor participates in a health insurance plan. Health care for a family is very important and can be very unpredictable. Preventive health care is an important part of family life and a responsible approach to proper health care.

Unfortunately, the cost of preventive, regular and emergency health care is extremely expensive for a family. Families without health insurance coverage often settle for emergency health care only and are usually left with huge medical bills when that occurs.

Likewise, it is very costly to provide health insurance coverage for a family. A congregation should assume the responsibility to do all that it can to ensure that their pastor is provided with this necessity. While some CGGC regions are able to provide group coverage, others are not. In any event, it should be the desire and action of congregations to see that their pastor and his family need not have to worry about the extreme financial burden of health concerns.

Disability Insurance

A pastor occupies a very important place in the life of a church. As leader of the congregation, his/her presence is essential in maintaining the on-going vision, ministries, and functions of the local church. Consequently, his/her prolonged absence can be detrimental to the church.

At the same time, if a pastor finds that he/she is unable to fulfill the responsibility of their role as pastor for a prolonged period of time, due to a physical disability, the church is faced with the dilemma of providing for his/her continued salary while, at the same time, finding the need to secure other leadership, whether that be temporary or permanent.

When a church faces this situation, having a disability insurance policy for their pastor helps them in the decision-making process. It is also comforting for a pastor placed in such a situation to know that he/she will receive compensation and not place the burden on the church for a long period of time. A significant disappointment would be to discover that he/she has no further compensation.

Again, some of the local CGGC Regions/Conferences are able to provide group disability insurance while others are not. In any event, it should be a strong consideration of the local church.

Life Insurance

A church that values their pastor and his/her family would want to consider providing life insurance. In the event of the loss of the life of the pastor, a church would find itself in the awkward position of providing needed financial assistance for the pastor’s family. Especially when the family lives in the parsonage, tough decisions must be made that impact the family. If life insurance money is available to the family, these needs can be met without undue stress and with a practical, rather than emotional, approach.

Retirement

The Churches of God Pension Plan was established in 1971 to provide retirement benefits to pastors, church employees and their spouses and families. All employees of the Churches of God, General Conference and its related organizations and churches are eligible to participate.

Full participation requires a contribution of 12% of compensation to the plan. Members that fully participate receive life insurance coverage.

Contributions to the plan are invested in a selection of mutual funds. There are ten to twelve mutual funds available with a wide variety of investment styles. The member can elect to have the nine member Board of Directors manage the investments of the member can self-direct his/her own account. There are socially conscience funds available that do not invest in alcohol, tobacco or gaming companies.

Prior to retirement, access to the funds is provided in cases of hardship and/or disability. Certain requirements must be met to be eligible for pre-retirement benefits.

After retirement, there are multiple options for receiving benefits. A member can elect to have a lump sum distribution, periodic payments, or an annuity. These options can be used in any combination. Except for funds used to buy an annuity, any residual amounts in a members account at the time of death will be distributed to the member’s designated beneficiary.