See Also: Changes to the Nazarene APS program FAQ

At their October 2008 meeting, the Board of Pensions and Benefits USA adopted a new approach to how Annual Pension Supplement (APS) amounts are determined. 2009 will be the first year for implementation of a strategy which shifts from determining APS amounts based on percentages of Pensions and Benefits Fund paid. For 2009, APS amounts will be determined based on actual dollars paid by a local congregation.

"With the current variations of budget formulas being adopted by districts, it is impossible to continue to base supplemental payments on the percentages of P&B Fund paid," said David McClung, chairman of the USA Board of Pensions. "The new formula was adopted, in part, to keep the Pension Trust viable for those under the Basic Pension Plan within this environment." The chart below illustrates how much APS funding each eligible participant will receive based on actual dollars paid into the P&B Fund by the congregation where the participant serves. In addition, all life insurance coverage amounts will be $15,000 for each participant eligible to receive an APS contribution based on P&B Fund participation.

As indicated in the chart, churches with multiple eligible APS recipients will have multiple APS contribution allocations available up to certain limits. If a church has multiple eligible APS recipients in excess of the maximum available for that congregation, APS amounts will be determined on a pro rata basis and divided equally among all eligible recipients at that church. Again, life insurance amounts are the same for every eligible recipient of an APS contribution from the P&B Fund.

Annual Church P&B
Allocation Paid
Maximum APS
Grants per Church
Total APS Available
per Church
Life Insurance for APS
Eligible Clergy
$1 - $50 $50 1 $50 $15,000
$51 - $500 $500 1 $500 $15,000
$501 - $750 $600 1 $600 $15,000
$751 - $1,000 $700 1 $700 $15,000
$1,001 - $1,500 $800 1 $800 $15,000
$1,501 - $2,000 $900 2 $1,800 $15,000
$2,001 - $3,000 $1,000 2 $2,000 $15,000
$3,001 - $5,000 $1,000 3 $3,000 $15,000
$5,001 - $10,000 $1,000 4 $4,000 $15,000
$10,001 - $25,000 $1,000 5 $5,000 $15,000
$25,000+ $1,000 15 $15,000 $15,000


It will also be necessary for a congregation to pay some P&B Fund amount in order to have those serving that congregation eligible for APS contributions. Last year, 871 of 4,904 congregations (17.8 percent) paid nothing into the P&B Fund. For the same year, 90 percent of all P&B Fund income was paid by approximately 40 percent of congregations.

According to McClung, "The Board of General Superintendents recently issued a statement saying giving to the World Evangelism Fund (WEF) is below projections and is not keeping up with inflation. Of course, Pensions and Benefits USA receives no World Evangelism Fund contributions, but the downward trend in giving to the Pensions and Benefits Fund parallels that of WEF.

"At the same time, we are also concerned about maintaining support services for eligible active ministers and church-employed laypersons—services such as life and long-term disability insurance coverage and contributions to 403(b) accounts. We plan to continue this support. But to be good stewards of the funds with which we are entrusted, we need to adjust how payments to Nazarene 403(b) retirement accounts are determined."

Don Walter, director of Pensions and Benefits USA, said he is hopeful congregations will do as much as possible to make regular contributions to the 403(b) retirement accounts of their pastors. "The Board of Pensions and those of us who serve in Pensions and Benefits USA want to help our pastors—both retired and active—in every way possible," Walter said. "We are compelled to continue to provide regular payments for our retired ministers and spouses under the Basic Pension Plan. This action will allow us to honor our commitment to them and still be able to assist active pastors."

For more information, contact Pensions and Benefits USA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..