Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement can be daunting; however, there are chaplains dedicated to assisting clergy and lay persons in the
church through their retirement planning and into their retirement. Retirement is a positive transition and planning ahead,
with support, can make it a joyful experience as well.

For clergy who are planning for retirement in the next five to ten years, there are steps to take in order to make the transition a smooth one. Below you will find some questions to consider, and links to resources from the Church Pension Group. When you are ready to take that next step, contact one of our Chaplains for Retired Clergy and they will begin to walk this journey with you.

Questions to Consider

When will you choose to retire?

As pension benefit is highly influenced by one’s years of active, credited service to the church, a too-early retirement might reduce that benefit for the rest of one’s life.

Where will you live?

If you live in church-supplied housing, you’ll lose your home at your retirement. Will you remain in the town or city where you are currently serving, or will you pair your retirement from active service to the church with a relocation?

What will be your health care insurance coverage once you retire?

The benefits differ for those aged 65 with Medicare. You will need to explore the options in the Episcopal Church Medical Trust.

How will your spiritual life differ after your retirement?

You will not be attending the church you retire from for a while. If you live in a metropolitan area, you have many choices. If you live in a rural area, your choices are limited.

How will you care for your need for interpersonal support?

Support from colleagues and friends is essential. If you have hobbies or interests beyond the church, what choices will you make as to where and with whom you will devote your time and attention?

How will your home life be affected by the major change in your vocation?

This is important to note particularly if you are married or partnered. There’s a joke that has gone around for many years. I married you for better or for worse, but not for lunch. The first months of retirement mean a rearranging of one’s calendar and schedules. Open and honest communication with one’s spouse or partner is as crucial during this time as with any other major change in the home situation.

Resources for Retirement

Church Pension Group –
19 East 34th Street,
New York, NY 10016

Main Switchboard – 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Mon-Fri

Client Services – 8:30 am – 8:00 pm, Mon-Fri
Medical, Dental, Vision & Group Life/Disability
Episcopal Church Medical Trust: 800-480-9967