Pension eligibility & benefit details

The Converge Retirement Plan offers a lifetime income benefit, so you can retire when you’re ready.

 

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Eligibility

There is no waiting period for enrollment. Basic plan participation requirements:

  • Individuals must be at least 23 years of age or older.
  • Be employed by a Converge-affiliated church or district and paid for at least 1,000 hours per year.

Participants who leave Converge-affiliated employment can continue participation by building valuable lifetime benefits in the Converge Retirement Plan if:

  1. They are employed by a non-profit, faith-based organization with a similar Statement of Faith.
  2. The non-profit, faith-based organization is willing to make retirement contributions on behalf of the participant.
  3. If the participant moves to a secular employer or a faith-based employer that chooses not to contribute retirement funds on his/her behalf, the accumulated future benefits will be frozen until retirement age.
  4. In cases where the accumulated future benefits are below the IRS minimum threshold, the participant may choose either to rollover funds to another qualified retirement plan or take a payout in another manner. IRS early withdrawal penalties may apply.

 

Benefit

A Converge Retirement Plan pension offers benefits that will provide you and your spouse with an ongoing, stable income throughout your retirement.

  1. Normal Retirement BenefitNormal Monthly benefits begin when a participant reaches age 65. The amount of the benefit will be the sum of the accumulated benefits earned during your years of active participation in the plan. Participants may elect to postpone the start of their benefits past age 65. The benefits will be higher for each year postponed until age 71. Your quarterly statement will show the expected normal retirement benefit. You can also request customized benefit option forms showing your projected benefits at different ages.
  2. Early Retirement BenefitsA participant can retire any time after his/her 60th birthday and receive an early retirement benefit. The amount of an early retirement benefit is reduced because payments are stretched over a longer period of time.
  3. Disability BenefitIf a participant has been in the plan for five years and contributions from the employer are current at the time of disability, the plan will continue making the annual contribution to the Defined Benefit Plan based on salary at the time of the disability, until normal retirement age. Accumulated benefits are protected and continue to grow until normal retirement age.
  4. Death BenefitThe death benefit for active participants, age 65 and younger, can equal up to one year of compensation as reported to the Retirement Plan. The death benefit is vested at a rate of 20% based on the annual compensation. You are fully vested (100%) after five years of active participation. The surviving spouse will receive a monthly pension benefit when the participant would have reached the age of 60. The amount is calculated as if the participant had reached age 65.
  5. Benefit Payment Options
    Several pension payment options are possible. Your choice of pension payment option is made just before retirement.
    Lifetime Only Option: The benefit is paid for the participant’s lifetime only. This means that payments will stop at the time of the participant’s death. The benefit paid under this option provides the highest monthly amount possible under the plan.

    Surviving Spouse Option:
    A monthly benefit is paid to the participant upon retirement, covering both the participant and his/her beneficiary until death. The benefit is reduced because it covers both persons.

    Guaranteed Five- or Ten-Year Certain Option:
    Payments are guaranteed to the participant for his/her lifetime. If the participant dies before the end of the guaranteed period, the beneficiary will receive payment for the guaranteed period.

 

How to increase your pension

At the time of your retirement, or anytime post-retirement, you are able to rollover money from your Defined Contribution funds into your Pension. If you chose to take advantage of this option you will receive the following benefits:

  1. Provide additional monthly income for your lifetime.
  2. Removes the risk of decrease in principal due to changes in the markets.
  3. Removes the risk of outliving money in the Defined Contribution account.

Converge Great Lakes helped us work through a variety of growth transitions and work through staff conflict, and how to create the right team. They provided coaching for church health, which resulted in greater ministry effectiveness.

John Anderson, Hope Community Church, Shawano, WI