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Benefits Plan enhancements

The 2025 Benefits Plan includes enhancements that improve parity among Benefits Plan members and help support the changing Church.

Humana Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan expansion

With the 2024 Medicare open enrollment period, for benefits effective Jan. 1, 2025, eligibility for the Humana Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan will extend to all Benefits Plan retirees and surviving spouses.

Median salary

One median effective salary, based on the congregational ministers’ median, will be used to calculate death and disability benefits and pension credit accruals for any member making less than the median, bringing parity to all plan members. With this change, the median effective salary for non-minister members is eliminated. This simplified method of calculating death and disability benefits and pension credit accruals adds value to our income protection plans, improves benefits for some members, and supports parity among all plan members.

Before this change, the congregational ministers’ median applied only to PC(USA)-ordained ministers whose salaries fell below that median and historically has been greater than that for non-minister members.

Defined Benefit Pension Plan

One median effective salary will be used to calculate pension credit accruals for the Defined Benefit Pension Plan for any member whose salary falls below this median, regardless of ordination status.

Death, Disability & Life Plans

Death, Disability & Life Plans provide income protection and security at times when employees and their families may need it most. These benefits provide the greatest value for every dollar spent by employers.

For 2025, benefits through the Death, Disability & Life Plans have been enhanced to provide even greater value. These enhancements:

  • improve benefits offered through the Board of Pensions
  • bring parity to all Benefits Plan members

Death benefits changes

Changes to death benefits reflect the changing needs of plan members.

Lump-sum death benefit 

  • The minimum benefit for beneficiaries of retired members is increased from $10,000 to $12,500, intended to provide funds for additional expenses associated with a funeral.
  • The maximum salary is increased from $110,000 to the IRS compensation limit ($345,000 in 2024).
  • The value of the benefit has increased for survivors of members aged 50 to 64, providing a more appropriate level of protection and better meeting the needs of a changing population.

Supplemental death benefits dues reduction

Supplemental death benefits coverage provides added protection to coverage through the Death and Disability or Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment plans. 

  • Dues are reduced by 10% to make the benefit more affordable, support increased participation, and allow us to serve more. 
  • Employers may pay some, none, or all of the cost of supplemental death benefits coverage. 
  • Costs are based on age, coverage start date, and nicotine use status.

Disability changes

Expanded disability benefits in the Death and Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Temporary Disability plans provide members with additional support when they need it most. 

One median effective salary

One median effective salary will be used to calculate disability benefits for the Death and Disability Plan for any member whose salary falls below this median, regardless of ordination status.

Maximum salary increased

The maximum salary used to calculate disability benefits increases from $110,000 to the IRS compensation limit ($345,000 in 2024).

Supplemental disability benefits eliminated

The maximum salary increase eliminates the need for supplemental disability benefits, currently offered to members to protect salary over the $110,000 maximum. This change: 

  • simplifies the plan 
  • eliminates the need for additional dues and enrollment for supplemental disability benefits 
  • ensures a higher level of coverage for those not enrolled at the maximum coverage level at a time when they need it the most 

Disability benefit increased

Disability benefits in the Death and Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Temporary Disability plans are expanded, replacing a larger portion of pay when a member is unable to work: 

  • The disability benefit provided by the Death and Disability Plan increases from 60% to 70% of the greater of the member’s actual salary or the median salary.
  • The disability benefit provided by the Temporary Disability Plan and Long-Term Disability Plan increases from 60% to 70% of the member’s salary.

Shorter waiting period

The waiting period for the payment of Temporary Disability benefits is reduced from 14 to seven calendar days, allowing members to receive benefits sooner when they are sick or injured and unable to work.

Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Plan

Term life coverage is expanded, including the addition of accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

Term life coverage

Term Life coverage is available at higher amounts to better serve the needs of employers and members. The current plan allows employers to provide term life coverage in incremental amounts, or one times a member’s salary, to a maximum of $50,000. In 2025, an employer may provide coverage in incremental amounts, or at one or two times the member’s salary, to a maximum of $200,000.

These enhancements help employers provide a more valuable benefit to employees with salaries more than the current maximum.

Accidental death and dismemberment coverage

The Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan adds AD&D coverage to the coverage provided through the Term Life Plan. This coverage provides benefits in addition to term life benefits in cases where death or injury occurs as a result of an accident.

Post-retirement service rule

The post-retirement service rule has been relaxed to support congregations, particularly smaller congregations, that are struggling to find pastoral leadership. This change will give these congregations an enhanced opportunity to secure that support:

  • Retired members receiving their pension benefit through the Defined Benefit Pension Plan may return to employment of 20 or more hours weekly without Board approval.
  • Eligible post-retirement service continues to be defined as a temporary, non-installed position at a church other than the pre-retirement employer.

Currently, a retired member’s pension benefit is suspended if they return to church employment, unless they receive an exception from the Board.

Member couple

Member couple status applies when each member of a married couple is employed by a PC(USA) employer and enrolled in the Medical Plan’s PPO option. Because full family coverage is no longer mandatory and double coverage is no longer required, member couple status has been removed. Member couples will no longer receive enhanced medical and prescription drug benefits.