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Serving in times of greatest need for 125 years.

Pension Fund originated in 1895 as the Board of Ministerial Relief, serving pastors in dire financial need. Beginning with our first Pension Plan payment in the Great Depression — and throughout the market ups and downs since — we’ve honored our commitments to our members. Today, we administer one of the strongest, fully funded pension and retirement systems in the country.

 

Celebrating 125 Years

View 125th Anniversary Timeline

Evolving with the needs of our members.

Over the years, we’ve listened to our members’ needs and added to our products and services. Our goal is to offer comprehensive products and services for all life stages and income levels.

Timeline

1895
Board of Ministerial Relief is formed:

Ira Chase, minister and former governor of Indiana, dies and leaves behind a blind widow and several children with no means of support. A.M. Atkinson forms the Board of Ministerial Relief and raises an initial $2,165.31 for the purchase of a home owned by Wabash Christian Church for the surviving Chase family members. William R. Warren serves as the initial board president.

1919
A new system of ministerial pensions is proposed.

George A. Huggins, an expert actuary instrumental in developing many religious, educational and governmental pension systems, helps structure a new ministerial pension system administered by the Board of Ministerial Relief. The Pension System would initially provide $500 per year to 3,663 eligible ministers.

1928
Pension Fund of the Disciples of Christ is Formed.

The International Convention approves the development of a new pension plan, closes the Board of Ministerial Relief, and authorizes a new board of trustees, to be named The Pension Fund of the Disciples of Christ, tasked with managing both ministerial relief and pensions.

1931
The Pension Plan is launched during the Great Depression.

In the first 9 months, four ministers died and death benefits were paid.

1951
Supplemental Gift program begins.

Dr. Hollis Turley is named president of Pension Fund.

1953
Student Gift Membership program begins.
1954
Pension Plan survivor benefits are increased through the Family Protection Plan.
1973
First Special Apportionment is awarded.
1993
Pension Fund passes $1 billion in assets under management.
1999
Pension Fund passes $2 billion in assets under management.
2013
Pension Fund passes $3 billion in assets under management.
2015
Pension Fund launches the Excellence in Ministry program through its partnership with Lilly Endowment Inc.

Pension Fund introduces a new Traditional IRA product and reintroduces the Benefit Accumulation Account.

2017
Pension Fund allows spouses of eligible members to open their own IRA or Benefit Accumulation Account.
2018
Pension Fund awards members a historical $144 million in Special Apportionments and Good Experience Credits.

Pension Fund Board of Directors approves plan to expand the Ministerial Relief & Assistance program. Pension Fund launches online portals for members and employers which allow for online transactions and additional self-service.

2020
Pension Fund celebrates 125 years.

Pension Fund currently manages more than $3.3 billion in assets, for more than 14,000 members. In 2019, Pension Fund paid out more than $129 million in annual pension benefits. As of 2020, Pension Fund has paid more than $2 billion in pension benefits to our members throughout its history and tens of millions of dollars in ministerial relief and assistance.