Synod Leaves Pension Formula Alone, Raises Ministry Share 2 Percent

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Synod 2013 rejected two requests to change the pension system for ministers in the Christian Reformed Church.

One request was to adjust the pension system so that clergy couples sharing a position can both receive full benefits. It was rejected with the ground that “as long as the church pays according to the payment schedule for multiple pastors,” both spouses can receive a full pension.

“[Paying into the pension for both spouses] is impossible for small churches with limited financial capabilities,” said elder George Monsma of Classis Grand Rapids East, the classis that made the overture.

The second request was to “revisit” the pension’s funding formula, “considering especially the situation of smaller congregations.” The request had noted that for small churches, paying a high percentage of their budget to a pension limits their other giving options.

“This might be something that will be a coming issue with our churches getting smaller,” said Rev. David Salverda of Classis B.C. South-East, the classis that brought the overture.

It was noted that Synod 2009 had looked at the funding formula.

On another financial note, Synod 2013 approved a ministry share of $332.79 per adult member for calendar year 2014, which is a 2 percent increase over last year.

Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.