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It is essential to calculate benefits accurately.

A member’s reported compensation is used to determine monthly premiums and annual retirement plan contribution limits.
Compensation includes:

  • Cash salary, including amounts you withhold for employee contributions to the Member Contribution Plan and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
  • The fair rental value of a parsonage, plus utilities and a parsonage allowance, or any cash housing allowance.
  • If your church pays its minister a Social Security/Medicare tax offset, you may include this amount when reporting compensation for plan purposes. Your monthly premium will increase modestly as a result—but so will the minister’s death benefit and disability coverage.

Consequences of Underreporting Income

Retirement savings contributions and death and disability benefits are based on reported compensation. Underreporting income, or failing to report increases in compensation, will result in lower benefits to the member and his or her family.

Here is an example for Rev. Jones, for whom the monthly Comprehensive Plan premium is 16% of reported compensation:

In the above example, underreporting Rev. Jones’ annual income by $5,000 reduces his organization’s premium payments by $800 a year. But the impact on Rev. Jones is potentially much greater than that—$650 less contributed to Rev. Jones’ retirement account and thousands of dollars less should Rev. Jones become
disabled or die..

Your pastoral leaders deserve the full benefits for which they are eligible. It is helpful to provide a full and accurate report of their compensation.