Esther Decker

Christ Community Church
Leawood, Kansas

“[FCMM] takes care of all those legalities and loopholes — things the average person either doesn’t think or know about.”

Esther Decker is the Director of Human Resources and Office Manger for a 24-year-old church with more than 100 people on its staff. So finding a retirement plan that would not only accommodate both new and savvy investors, but also offer personalized service to lighten the administrative load, was essential.

“[At FCMM,] They’ve done all the legwork to understand the church world in relation to retirement plans,” she says. “They take care of all those legalities and loopholes — things the average person either doesn’t think or know about.”

Before committing to FCMM, it was changes to laws surrounding 401(k)s and 403(b)s that drove Christ Community Church to reevaluate its retirement benefits. They asked themselves, “Who understands the church world?” Their answer: the EFCA. So they decided to switch to FCMM, because the denominational plan best addressed the needs of their people. Ministry people.

Among the biggest benefits they've gained, Decker believes, is working with experts who understand the nuances of the housing allowance tax benefit, which FCMM, unlike most plans, allows pastors to extend into retirement.

Decker can also attest that FCMM not only supports pastors, but makes the lives of administrators like herself much easier. “If someone leaves our staff, we just give FCMM their name and number and they work directly with them [to handle the transition]. We get ourselves out of the middle.” She also appreciates the ability to access forms and information online. “They’ve taken a lot of strides to stay current with the way people communicate these days.”

And with such a large staff, the church is able to offer support to individuals no matter how close they are to retirement. Some might be just beginning to save, while others are focused on finishing well. “We talk about doing those things up front that lay a great foundation. The little things you do now go a long way later.”

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