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Pension Fund of the Christian Church

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Employer-Sponsored Retirement Products

Overview

As a church plan, Pension Fund is able to offer flexible and worry-free retirement options for employers and their employees. Our team of Area Directors will meet with you to discuss your needs and help you get started.

Individual Savings & Retirement Products

Overview

Whether you’re just starting out or closer to retirement, choose from a variety of products to help you reach your retirement and savings goals.

Program Applicants

Ministerial Relief & Assistance

Our relief programs meet the evolving needs of new, active, and retired clergy and their families to ensure all ministers and lay workers can enjoy a strong, smart, secure retirement.

Supporters & Donors

Make An Impact with a Donation

Your gifts and financial support helps ministry workers in need bridge the unexpected from now until retirement (and beyond).

Resources

Overview

Discover planning and educational tools & resources to help you navigate your financial wellness journey.

Your Money Line

Pension Fund has partnered with Pete the Planner® to provide members with access to financial guides who will help answer your tough financial questions & online tools such as calculators and eLearning courses.

Minister's Housing Allowance Ruled Unconstitutional

On Thursday, Nov. 21, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb for the Western District of Wisconsin issued a strong, 43-page decision declaring unconstitutional 26 U.S.C. § 107(2), passed by Congress in 1954. Quoting the Supreme Court, Crabb noted, 'Every tax exemption constitutes subsidy.'

The law allows 'ministers of the gospel' paid through a housing allowance to exclude that allowance from taxable income. Ministers can, for instance, use the untaxed income to purchase a home, and, in a practice known as 'double dipping,' may then deduct interest paid on the mortgage and property taxes.

Crabb wrote: 'Some might view a rule against preferential treatment as exhibiting hostility toward religion, but equality should never be mistaken for hostility. It is important to remember that the establishment clause protects the religious and nonreligious alike.'

While enjoining Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel from enforcing the tax break, Crabb stayed her ruling until the conclusion of any appeals, as is typical in significant cases.

So, while the housing allowance has been ruled unconstitutional, the judge's stay means that ministers may continue to qualify for the housing allowance in tax year 2013. And because of the length of time it usually takes for cases to work their way through to the Supreme Court, it is likely that minister's housing allowance will be permitted in 2014 as well.

Pension Fund will continue to monitor this case and provide updates as they become available.