Clergy pensions

Clergy pensions provides a typical 'defined benefit' pension.

You receive a pension based on your service and the National Minimum Stipend. Your Responsible Body (this could be your diocese or employer) meets the cost of providing your pension.

Members' guide

Our Clergy member's guide has all the details you need to find out how Clergy pension work. 

Scroll down to find out the highlights. 

My membership

You build up a pension which we will pay you for life. We also pay you a tax-free lump sum when you retire.

You don't have to pay into your pension, but you can pay extra into a pot with Legal & General. You can use this to provide extra income or a lump sum when you retire. Find out more in the 'Boost my retirement savings' section.

While you are in active service you receive life cover of 3x the previous years’ National Minimum Stipend. Find out more about this in the ‘My pension if I die’ section

You can't transfer other pensions into the Clergy pension scheme, but you can move them into Legal & General.

Keep us up to date with where you are - fill out a change of address form here.

Boost my retirement savings

You don't have to pay into your Clergy pension, but you can boost your retirement savings by paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). When you retire we can usually pay all, or most of your AVC pot back to you tax-free. 

AVCs are a tax-efficient way to boost your retirement income. We invest your AVC pot with Legal & General, and you can decide how you want this invested.

Lifestyle 

This takes care of investment decisions for you. Your money is invested in a mix of investments designed to grow your pension while you are still some way from retirement. As you get closer to your chosen retirement age your money automatically switches to safer assets to help lock in your pension pot.

Equity lifestyle

At first your money is invested in Balanced Equities. This is mix of higher risk investment funds and the aim is to make the most return on your money while you are still some way from retirement.

Then, as you get closer to retirement your money switches automatically to less risk funds so that by the time you retire

25% is invested in Cash
75% is invested in index-Linked Gilts

Ethical lifestyle

We offer an ethical lifestyle option which works in the same way. At first your money is split between these two funds.

50% is invested in Global Ethical Equities
The other 50% is invested in UK Ethical Equities

This mix of higher risk investments aim to make the most return on your money while you are still some way from retirement. As you get closer to retirement your money automatically switches to lower-risk funds so that by the time you retire

25% is invested in Cash
75% is invested in Index-Linked Gilts

Freestyle 

You can make your own investment decisions. This is designed for the more confident investor and offers you more control over where your money is invested and whether or not it switches between funds. 

You can pick one or more of these 10 investment funds. Click on each fund to see its performance page.

You can change your investment choice whenever you like. If you choose higher risk funds, you can switch to lower risk funds as you approach retirement. You might want to pick several funds to spread your risk.

Legal & General take a fee each year to manage the investment fund. This is currently 0.4%.

Ethical equities:

UK Ethical Equities

Global Ethical Equities

Unrestricted equities:

UK Equities

Global Equities

Balanced Equities

Gilts and Bonds:

Index-Linked Gilts

Fixed Interest Gilts

Corporate Bonds

Cash:

Cash

How to pay AVCs

Monthly through your stipend or salary

If you are thinking of paying AVCs, first decide how much you would like to pay. Your AVCs are taken from your stipend or salary before tax. If you are a 20% tax payer and you pay £100 a month, only £80 comes out of your stipend or pay.

You can start, stop, increase or decrease your AVCs whenever you like. To start paying, or change your AVCs fill out an AVC form.

One off lump sum payment

You can pay one-off lump sums. To do this, fill out an AVC form and send this to us. The form has all the details you need to pay a lump sum.

Anything you pay into your pension is tax free up to a limit. As you will have paid tax on your lump sums you can claim any tax relief on your self-assessment tax return.

Is there a risk?

Your money is invested in funds which go up and down in line with what they are invested in. There will always be some risk.

My retirement

When you are ready to take your pension, let us know.

We will pay you a pension for life, plus a tax-free lump sum. We aim to pay your lump sum as soon as possible after you retire.

You don’t have to keep your pension with us. You can transfer it to a ‘defined contribution’ pension provider who can offer more flexible ways of taking your pension. You could:

  1. Take an adjustable income, called drawdown
  2. Take cash lump sums in stages
  3. Take your whole pension as a lump sum in one go

We will tell you all about these options and how you can take advantage of them closer to your retirement.

Retirement due to health reasons

If you health is stopping you carrying out your duties you can think about ill health retirement.

First, speak to your diocese, Archdeacon or Bishop about your health concerns. They will usually try to adapt your role to make this more manageable. 

If it is clear you can't continue ask us for an ill health application form.

Helping you find pensions advice

While most people might be best off sticking with the pension options we can offer, there are more flexible ways you can access your retirement savings. For some people, these flexible options might be better.

Either way, it is worth exploring how these flexible options work and if you might be better of taking advantage of them. This is where a financial adviser comes in.

We have partnered with LV= Retirement Advice Services to help you understand all your options. They can also help you with any pensions you have outside the Church of England and they will look at all aspects of your situation.

Find out how LV= can help you at our pensions advice page.

My pension if I leave

If you leave service before you retire, we will keep your pension here with us until you decide to take it, transfer it to another provider or die.

We will still send you annual updates to let you know how your pension is progressing.

You can move your pension to another provider, but you might need to take financial advice before you do. Get in touch with us if you would like to do this.

My pension if I die

If you die before or after you retire, we will pay two-thirds of your pension to your husband, wife or civil partner.

We guarantee your pension for 12 months. If you die within this period, we will pay the remaining payments as a lump sum.

If you die while in active service, we will also pay a tax-free lump sum of:

  • 3x the previous years’ National Minimum Stipend, plus,
  • your additional pot with Legal & General, if you have one.

You can tell us the person, people or organisations you would like to leave any lump sum to. Fill out our nomination form to tell us your wishes.

If your circumstances change - complete a new form. We do not have to follow your wishes, but we will be guided by whoever you put on your nomination form. We use our discretion and by doing this we can pay the lump sum tax-free.

How to make a complaint

We make every effort to provide you with an efficient and effective service. However, if you are unhappy with the service you receive, please contact us first and we will do our best to resolve your issue.

If you have a complaint or dispute concerning your workplace or personal pension arrangements, you can also contact the Pensions Ombudsman. If you have general requests for information or guidance you can contact the Pensions Advisory Service.

The Pensions Ombudsman

Tel: 0800 917 4487

Website: www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk


The Pensions Advisory Service   

Tel: 0800 011 3797

Website: www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/

Contact us

We are here to help. You can contact us by:

Telephone: 020 7898 1802 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: [email protected]