FAQ & Glossary

Frequently asked questions and common terminology associated with pension and retirement.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When can I retire?
There are many factors to consider when contemplating retirement. 

According to the Book of Discipline ¶358, you must meet one of the following criteria in order to retire: 

  • Normal retirement begins at age 65 or with 40 years of service 
  • Early retirement is available at age 62  or with 30 years of service
  • Mandatory retirement is age 72
  • Under the 20-year rule, you can retire after 20 years of service but you cannot receive retirement benefits until you turn 62.

Other things to consider are health insurance, how much you have saved, when you can begin receiving social security. 

Contact the Board of Pensions to set up a personal  meeting to discuss your individual options.

Can the Board of Pensions give me investment advice?
No, neither the staff of the Board of Pensions nor the members of the Board are able to provide guidance or advice in terms of personal investments.

  • EY Financial is a free, confidential service that can work with you in your financial planning and decision making.
  • Wespath also has a program called Lifestage Investment Management Services, which can tailor an investment plan based on your age and your risk comfort.

Can the Board of Pensions give me tax advice?
No, neither the staff of the Board of Pensions nor the members of the Board are able to provide tax guidance. You should find a tax professional who is familiar with clergy tax law. 

Where can I get a copy of my most recent 1099R?
Login to your Benefits Access account at www.wespath.org and you should be able to print out a copy by clicking My Benefits, Selecting Retirement Benefits, Selecting Tax Forms. You can also call Wespath to request a copy at 1-800-851-2201. 


Clergy Retirement Security Plan (CRSP)
CRSP provides a defined contribution account and a monthly defined benefit at retirement, offering clergy both financial security and flexibility. 

Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP)
This plan provides disability, death and survivor benefits to participating clergy and their families.

Defined Benefit Plan
A retirement plan that requires a specific pension payment upon retirement. The amount is calculated based on a years of service, age, and earnings history as opposed to depending on individual investment returns. 

Defined Contribution Plan
A retirement plan in which the employer, employee, or both make contributions on a regular basis. 

EY Financial Planning
EY provides confidential, objective advice on financial matters at no charge to eligible participants. For more information, click here.

LifeStage Investment Management Service
LifeStage is an automated investment tool that develops and manages an investment portfolio for participants' self-directed retirement plan balances. It is tailored to a participants specific circumstances. 

Lifestage Retirement Income
LifeStage Retirement Income manages participant's distributions by using monthly payments from participant defined contribution accounts that are designed to last for participants lifetime and adjust annually with changes in the inflation, age, and account balance.

Ministerial Pension Plan (MPP)
MPP provides benefits to clergy for their years of ministry from 1982 through 2006. Wespath continues to manage and invest participants' MPP accounts until they begin receiving retirement benefits.

Pre--82 (formerly Ministers Reserve Pension Fund)
This is defined benefit plan that is available to approved clergy whose services were rendered prior to January 1, 1982. It is formerly known as the Ministers Reserve Pension Fund (MRPF).

UMLife Options
UMLife Options offers long-term disability (LTD) and life insurance coverage for eligible United Methodist clergy, lay employees and retirees. It includes the Lay Long-Term Disability Plan, Lay Life Insurance Plan, Clergy Supplemental Life Insurance Plan and the Optional Life Insurance Plan.

United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP)
UMPIP is a retirement saving plan for clergy and lay employees of United Methodist churches, church-related organizations and general agencies.