Giving to the Pensions and Benefits Fund is vital to assure the ongoing ability of the Church of the Nazarene to provide assistance to ministers. The following provides an overview of how giving to the P&B Fund affects the Annual Pension Supplement and other benefits.
2021 APS and P&B USA-Provided Benefits
from P&B Funds
|Annual P&B and
|$1 – 49%||50 – 99%||100%||100%|
(see coverage amounts below)
|403(b) APS Match
Survivor Benefit Coverage
The amount of complimentary coverage for active eligible ministers is based on age: 50 and under = $30K, 51 to 70 = $15K, and 71 to 75 = $7.5K. The Survivor Benefit for retired eligible ministers (and over age 75) is based on years of service: 10 to 20 years = $1.5K, 21 to 30 years = $3K, and 30+ years = $6K.
110% of the amount paid by church to the P&B Fund.
250% (up to $250) match of combined contributions of employee and employer to 403(b) account.
Description of Benefits:
Q: What’s new?
A: The APS contribution amounts remain unchanged from the previous year. Adjustments have been made to the amounts of complimentary disability insurance and survivor benefit provided for pastors whose churches contribute to the Pensions and Benefits Fund. Details are below.
Q: What is an Annual Pension Supplement (APS) contribution?
A: This is intended as a basic retirement contribution to the Nazarene 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan accounts of eligible full-time Nazarene ministers whose churches pay at least 50 percent of their Pensions and Benefits Fund allocation according to Funding the Mission. The current base APS contribution amount is $200.
Q: Who is eligible to receive the 2021 APS Contribution?
A: District superintendents and senior pastors who are district licensed or ordained are eligible due to their assigned role. Other ordained elders, deacons, district-licensed ministers and district-credentialed lay persons who meet the full-time, full-livelihood criteria will also receive an APS contribution. Ministry assignments that may be considered are District Assignment; District Interim Assigned; Pastoral Service; Evangelist, Tenured; Evangelist, Registered; Evangelist, Commissioned; Song Evangelist, Registered; Song Evangelist, Commissioned; Minister of Music; and Christian Education Minister. Co-pastors would both be eligible. See more details in the "Eligibility Criteria" section below.
Q: What is a bonus APS contribution?
A: If a church pays 100 percent or more of its P&B Fund allocation, each minister who received an APS base contribution will also receive an APS bonus contribution equal to 10 percent of the P&B Fund amount paid by his or her church. Bonus amounts for churches with more than one eligible minister will be shared equally by all who serve that church.
Q: What is the 403(b) match?
A: If a church pays 100 percent or more of its P&B Fund AND Education Fund allocation, each minister who received an APS base contribution also will receive an APS bonus contribution equal to 10 percent of the P&B Fund amount paid by his or her church AND will also receive a 50 percent match of his or her personal (by salary reduction or salary addition) Nazarene 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan account contributions (to a maximum of $250 annually).
Q: Does P&B provide a death benefit for pastors?
A: Yes. The Survivor Benefit is available to all eligible full-time U.S. active and retired ministers. The amount of coverage is $30,000 for ministers age 50 and under; $15,000 for ministers age 51 to 70, and $7,500 for ministers age 71 to 75. Note, to receive this benefit, active ministers must serve in a church that pays toward its annual P&B Fund allocation. Supplemental coverage also may be purchased. Visit this link for details.
Q: Does P&B provide complimentary long-term disability insurance for pastors?
A: Yes. Basic disability insurance coverage is provided for all eligible full-time Nazarene ministers receiving their first year of full-time active service credit after January 1, 1996, whose churches contribute to the P&B Fund. The maximum monthly amount of the benefit is $500. Additional disability insurance may be purchased by the minister or the local church. (See P&B-Provided Benefits for details).
Q: For those not serving a local church, or who are serving under district assignment, what benefits are they eligible for?
A: Full-time evangelists, full-time district-assigned ministers, and district superintendents will receive $1,000 base APS contributions. Survivor benefit and long-term disability insurance coverage are the same as for all ministers whose churches contribute to the P&B Fund.
Q: When will base and bonus APS contributions be made?
A: Since these contributions are based upon the amount of P&B Fund paid, payments are not made until after the close of the fiscal year for which they are payable. This is typically at least 90 days after the end of your district’s fiscal year. APS contributions are subject to district office verification of eligibility.
Q: When will the matching contributions be made?
A: It is anticipated that these contributions will be processed in the first quarter of the calendar year following the calendar year in which your contributions were made. For example, any salary reduction or salary addition contributions made in 2021 would be matched in the first quarter in 2022.
Q: I am a grandfathered participant under the Basic Pension Plan (BPP). Will the 403(b) match contributions be used as an offset against my BPP benefit like the base/bonus contributions are?
Q: My church contributes to a retirement plan other than the Nazarene 403(b) Plan. Can we instruct P&B to send 403(b) match contributions to that plan?
A: No. To qualify for matching funds, contributions must be made to your Nazarene 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan account with Fidelity Investments.
Q: What date should be used for eligibility determination?
A: The first January 1 following commencement of full-time active service, and each January 1 until the participant no longer meets the criteria.
Q: What service is considered full-time and full-livelihood?
A: Full-time service is defined as serving no fewer than 30 hours per week for no fewer than 30 weeks each calendar year in Nazarene churches or district offices on U.S. districts that pay U.S. P&B Fund allocations. Full-livelihood is defined as deriving no less than 50 percent of personal net income for the calendar year from the local church or district being served. Both definitions must be satisfied to receive an APS contribution.
Q: Do evangelists have additional criteria?
A: For evangelists, full-time and full-livelihood service is defined as no fewer than 30 Sundays or 26 revival events (as defined by the General Board, Church of the Nazarene) per calendar year, in Nazarene churches on U.S. districts that pay U.S. P&B Fund allocations. Service not in local Nazarene churches must be affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. An evangelist must satisfy one or the other alternative criteria, which may not be used in combination to receive an APS contribution.
Q: Who is not eligible for a 2021 APS contribution?
- In the event that a pastor’s or staff member’s church(es) fail to contribute to the U.S. P&B Fund, no contribution will be credited to each pastor or staff member under this plan. This criterion does not apply to evangelists and those Participants serving in district assignments.
- Any year in which a Participant is already receiving benefits under the Basic Pension portion of the Nazarene Single Defined Benefit Plan is not eligible to receive a contribution under this plan.
- If a participant is eligible for employer matching contributions in a church institution pension plan, no APS contribution may be granted under this plan.
What other assignments may be eligible for a contribution?
A full-time supply minister who is district-licensed or ordained would receive an APS contribution when earning their full-livelihood from such ministry. Full-time service is defined as no less than 30 compensated Sundays each calendar year in Nazarene churches on districts participating in payment of the U.S. P&B Fund.
The Impact of P&B Fund Payment Levels:
Q: My church pays less than 100% of our P&B Fund allocation. How will this affect what I receive in benefits from P&B?
A: We understand that reaching 100% is not always possible, but every church can pay something. If a church pays only $1, survivor benefit and disability coverage are provided. Depending on the percentage paid, an eligible full-time minister will have either these coverages alone or with retirement benefits.
Q: My church does not pay anything to the P&B Fund. How will this affect what I receive in benefits from P&B?
A: Because of funding constraints, it is no longer possible to provide any benefits to ministers serving churches that contribute nothing to the P&B Fund.
Q: My church employs more than one full-time minister. How do you determine how much each minister will receive in benefits from P&B?
A: P&B uses the chart below to determine the number of APS base grants provided per church. As you can see, the more money contributed into the P&B Fund provides for a larger number of APS base grants
|Annual Church P&B
(at least 50% of P&B
|Number of APS
|Total Base APS
|$1 to $1,500||1||$200|
|$1,501 to $3,000||2||$400|
|$3,001 to $5,000||3||$600|
|$5,001 to $10,000||4||$800|
|$10,001 to $15,000||5||$1,000|
|$15,001 to $20,000||6||$1,200|
|$20,001 to $25,000||8||$1,600|
|$25,001 and up||15||$3,000|
The Importance of P&B Fund Support
Giving (or not giving) to the Pensions and Benefits Fund can directly affect pastors financially. We encourage every Nazarene church in the United States to support their pastor and other ministers by contributing to the P&B Fund.