Clergy pensions

Clergy pensions are for stipendiary clergy and licensed lay workers.

You usually join from the day you start stipendiary ministry. Your pension is a ‘defined benefit’ pension. How much your pension is depends on your stipendiary service and the National Minimum Stipend.

You can find out everything you need to know about your pension in our Members' Guide below.

Boost your retirement income

You do not have to pay anything, but you can boost your retirement savings by paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).

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 your savings invested.


More information

What happens when I retire?

When you are ready to retire, the first step is to let your Archdeacon or Bishop know you will be retiring.

As soon you as you have done this let us know your retirement date and we will send you an application form.

We will pay you a pension for life, plus a tax-free lump sum. Your lump sum should reach your bank account on the day you retire.

What happens to my pension if I die?

If you die while in active stipendiary ministry we will pay a tax-free lump sum of 3x the National Minimum Stipend. We will usually pay this to whoever you have put on your nomination form.

If you haven’t filled out a nomination form, or would like to update your form, a copy is below.

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

Freedom and choice

People with a defined contribution pension have greater access to their pension pot.

This does not affect your clergy pension but it does offer you more freedom when taking your AVCs. You can transfer the value of your clergy pension to a defined contribution scheme and take advantage of these options, but there could be restrictions.

If you are thinking of doing this, make sure you understand your options. 

You can also watch this short video which explains how your choices work

Tax limits

You usually have to pay tax if savings in your pension go above the annual allowance. This is currently £40,000 a year.

If you are thinking of paying a large amount into your AVC pot, check your annual allowance first via the HRMC website.

You should also keep an eye on your lifetime allowance. Again, you usually have to pay tax if your lifetime savings go above the lifetime allowance. This is currently £1 million.

If you’re in more than one pension scheme, you must add up what you’ve used in all pension schemes you belong to.

What counts towards your allowance depends on the type of pension pot you get. Find out more about lifetime allowance.

Supplementary Pensions and Augmentation Grants

We can financially support retired clergy, their surviving spouses, or civil partners if their income falls below a level we set and review annually.

The leaflets below tell you more about this and how to apply.

Clergy AVC investment choices

You do not have to make a decision. If you would prefer not to decide how to invest your contributions we will invest these for you in our equity lifestyle option.

What do you want to achieve?

Have a think about what it is you want to achieve from your pension.

If you are some way from retirement you might want to maximise the growth in your savings, so higher risk funds will be suitable.

If you are closer to retirement you may be more concerned with avoiding risk. If so, medium or lower risk funds may be best.

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.

Before you decide how you would like to invest your contributions, first assess your attitude to risk. This video can help you.

Lifestyle choices
Freestyle choices
Changing your investment choice

Your Privacy

Our privacy notice sets out how we use personal data that we hold about you and gives information on how to exercise your legal rights. You can find this below.

Contact Us

Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us

By telephone: 020 7898 1802 (open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

By email: [email protected]