IRS Begins Drafting Church Plan Revisions


The IRS has begun drafting regulations requiring employers of church plans to inform their workers that their pensions are no longer insured by the federal government. Pension plans run by churches come under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal pension law enacted in 1974. Church pension plans are exempted from federal funding rules, they do not have to file annual detailed reports to federal agencies, they are not requires to fund the plans and insure them with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) which is a federal agency that pays the benefits if a pension plan runs out of money. An amendment to ERISA in 1980 broadened the exemption to include pensions of employers ‘associated’ with a church.

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