2021 Budget Guidelines
Including clergy compensation and benefits, common mission share guidelines, and other congregational budget information
Health and Dental Insurance
Medical insurance, up to the cost of the High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account funded at 75% of the deductible and CIGNA Basic Dental family plans are required to be paid by the employer. A more expensive plan may be selected and the additional cost may be paid by the clergy or granted as an additional benefit by the employer.
Life insurance is mandatory for full-time clergy, which the Church Pension Fund provides at no charge as long as pension assessments are not in arrears. A congregation may purchase additional life insurance if it chooses. Learn more.
NOTE: The insured must pay income tax on the value of life insurance in excess of $50,000. Imputed income amounts are emailed to clergy in early December. This amount must be reflected on the clergy W-2.
For information about disability insurance, please visit the Church Pension Group website.
The formula for calculating the pension contribution is 18% applied to the total of cash salary, Social Security tax reimbursement, utilities, and housing. Changes in compensation must be reported to the Church Pension Fund.
Cash salary is the stipend paid including bonuses, fees, one-time cash payments, severance and any salary reduction arrangements used to fund an annuity such as a 403 (b) tax deferred annuity.
Minimum clergy compensation is set each year by Diocesan Convention. The clergy minimum compensation for 2021 for full-time clergy is:
- $65,600 which includes: Cash Stipend, Self Employment Tax and Cash Housing allowance
- $47,800 which includes: Cash Stipend and Self Employment Tax and assumes a residence and utilities are provided.
Congregations are expected to consider additional cash stipend based on such criteria as longevity, scope of responsibility, and performance. Changes in compensation must be reported to the Church Pension Fund. For more information on the 2018 average Clergy Compensation (diocesan-wide and comparable dioceses), please download the 2018 Clergy Compensation Report.
For more information on clergy compensation, please call Andrea Mysen (312-751-4203) or Anna Stefaniak (312-751-4202).
A minimum of $1,000 must be provided for full-time clergy for actual expenses. Receipts should be turned in to the employer for reimbursement.
Letter of Agreement
- 2021 Full Time LOA Template
- 2021 Part Time LOA Template
- 2021 Interim Full Time LOA Template
- 2021 Interim Part Time LOA Template
- New Assignment Notice
- Deacon Letter of Agreement
Effective January 1, 2020, automobile mileage can be reimbursed at the rate of $0.575 per mile. Beginning and ending mileage must be noted from your odometer. Reimbursement from home to office may not be submitted.
It is expected that clergy will take up to one month (4 weeks and 5 Sundays) of vacation time per year. Clergy sabbaticals are different from vacations.
Sabbaticals are typically from one to four months in length. Each congregation and/or supporting agency in the Diocese is urged to set aside a minimum of $250 each year in an interest bearing account to be added to its normal clergy support for the period of the sabbatical leave. This may be used to offset the cost of supply clergy.
A full description of procedures, protocols and expectations around clergy sabbaticals are available in the Guidelines for Clerical Sabbatical Leave.
Clergy must be reimbursed for actual travel expenses. Receipts and documentation should be turned in to the employer on a monthly basis. If payment to clergy for transportation is an allowance or flat amount and the actual travel cost is not accounted for, it must be included as a part of the cash stipend.
Effective May 14, 2020, employees enrolled in the Medical Trust medical plans are no longer required to participate in an annual Preventive Care/Screening/Immunization visit or provide documentation of an annual visit. The Diocese of Chicago does encourage employees and their families to utilize their annual $0 preventive care screening and additional wellness resources provided by Church Pension Group.