October is Pastor Appreciation Month and one of the best ways a church can bless their pastor is by providing for their future income after employment (“retirement”).
A survey taken by the National Association of Evangelicals on the Financial Health of Pastors revealed the following:
- 90% of pastors feel some financial stress.
- 80% serve in churches under 200 people.
- 50% make under $50,000 per year.
- 80% have $0 to less than $50,000 saved for retirement.
- 62% receive no church retirement benefits.
- 59% receive no church health care coverage.
- 30% have unpaid student loans (avg $36,000).
- 29% have $0 in savings.
Has someone in leadership in your church had a conversation with your pastor(s) to ask about their financial health? This isn’t an easy subject for pastors to talk about. They don’t go into ministry for financial reasons… they’re called to serve. But as church members we are also called to love our pastors and provide for them. Do you know if your church is contributing to a retirement plan for your pastors and staff members?
FCMM Benefits and Retirement is the church benefits ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America. We make it easy for a church to provide our Retirement Plan for pastors and staff at no cost to the church other than the amount the church chooses to contribute on their behalf. In addition, for pastors who are new to the Retirement Plan, we offer a Matching Grant which can add $1,000 to the first $1,000 that is contributed. We have funding available for 150 pastors who apply for the grant and complete the grant requirements.
While more than a majority of EFCA churches with full-time staff participate in the FCMM Retirement Plan, our prayer is to see that grow so that every EFCA church would contribute toward their pastors’ and staff’s future retirement.
In addition to the Retirement Plan, we also offer a Benefit Plan that comprises Disability and Life/AD&D Insurance. For 2023, the Plan has added a Short Term Disability option to the Long Term Disability coverage we’ve previously offered. The Open Enrollment period for the Benefit Plan is September 15 to November 1, 2022. These benefits are available to pastors and employees in participating churches.