(CHICAGO) May 20, 2020—Two deadlines regarding the reorganization of the Covenant Pension Plan (CPP) that took place on December 31, 2019, are pending.
The first deadline refers to the annual option all active CPP participants have to “freeze” their accrued benefit in the CPP, and switch future mandatory employer contributions (12.5%) to the GuideStone Financial 403b9 program. Any participant who would like to elect this option this year must do so by June 30, 2020, with approved elections effective January 1, 2021.
“This six-month period provides substantial time to establish a GuideStone account for future employer contributions,” explains Paul Hawkinson, director of pensions for the Evangelical Covenant Church. “This action does not roll over assets. Rather, it simply freezes the accrued CPP participant benefits.” This decision is available to CPP participants annually and is completely optional. It is also irrevocable—electing to switch plans will eliminate any future accruals in the CPP. Participants do not need to be vested to make this election. Service in the GuideStone plan will continue to count for vesting purposes in the CPP (currently a five-year vesting requirement).
The second deadline is for any eligible credentialed Covenant pastors who wish to apply for the second round of the newly formed Covenant Subsidized Benefit program. This deadline is also June 30, with an effective date of January 1, 2021.
Forms for the Pension Conversion, as well as details regarding the Covenant Subsidized Benefit program and an application form can be found here. All forms should be submitted to Bethany@covchurch.org