This page is for UMC clergy, whose total appointment time is half-time to just under 3/4 time, whether they serve one church only or more than one church.
This page contains a link to the online worksheet where you will enter information about your pastor's compensation. The district office will use this information to create a Compensation Agreement Form which will be returned to you to present for approval at a charge conference.
Before you go to the worksheet,
- review the information below about the elements of compensation for half-time clergy,
- and collect the information you need to gather prior to completing the worksheet.
Clergy compensation includes cash salary and housing. The church shall also provide an accountable reimbursement fund (including mileage reimbursement). The local church is also required to provide benefits as described below for clergy who are appointed half-time. If the clergy person's appointment is made up of service at two or more churches, the cash salary, housing, and benefits costs will be divided between the congregations either based on the appointment percentages at each or as otherwise negotiated between the congregations and the District Superintendent.
Before you begin the worksheet, gather the following information:
- What will be the annual cash salary? Use the Equitable Compensation Guidelines
- How will housing be provided - parsonage or housing allowance? If housing allowance, how much will it be? See the Equitable Compensation Guidelines
- What allocations of cash salary and housing allowance does the clergy person want to make to maximize their tax advantages? See the Equitable Compensation Guidelines and use the Housing and Housing Allowances Worksheet
- What will be the annual accountable reimbursement amount?
- What will be the mileage reimbursement rate?
- Will the church offer additional benefits beyond those required? See below
- If the clergy person is appointed to more than one church, how will these costs be divided up between the churches?
Once you have gathered this information, you are ready to begin the Compensation Information Worksheet. Choose the appropriate worksheet as indicated. For support with the compensation information worksheet, contact your District Office as listed below.
After you have completed the worksheet, inform your district office that it is finished. They will take the information you have given and create a Compensation Agreement Form and return it to you to be presented at your charge conference for approval.
Cascadia District Office, firstname.lastname@example.org (503) 581-3969
Columbia District Office, email@example.com (503) 802-9227
Crater Lake District Office, firstname.lastname@example.org (541) 689-3725
Sage District Office, email@example.com (503) 802-9225
- There are minimum salary levels for clergy, set each year by the Annual Conference (called Equitable Compensation Guidelines) See the Equitable Compensation Guidelines 2020 for guidance on those.
- With the minimum level as the lower boundary, the cash salary figure for a particular clergy is arrived at through negotiation between the SPRC, District Superintendent and the pastor.
- The clergy person can allocate portions of their cash salary to utilities & furnishings allowance (see Equitable Compensation Guidelines 2020 and the Housing Allowances Worksheet), to their personal investment plan (UMPIP), or to increase their housing allowance. (Use the Housing Allowance Worksheet to figure)
- Housing is provided to the clergy either through a parsonage or through housing allowance.
- The Conference has a policy for clergy housing standards, covering both standards for a church-provided parsonage (and church-pastor relations regarding the parsonage) and considerations when establishing a housing allowance. Find that policy by clicking here.
- The Equitable Compensation Guidelines set minimum housing allowance amounts. The housing allowance is proportional to appointment time, i.e. at half-time the minimum housing allowance is half of the minimum housing allowance for full-time. Every parsonage is considered as meeting the minimum compensation package. This is true whether the pastor is working full -time or part-time.
- If the housing allowance is more than actual housing costs, the clergy person can shift housing allowance funds to cash salary. Use the Housing and Housing Related Allowances Worksheet to figure.
- In rare cases, and under very limited circumstances, the clergy person may voluntarily give up the part of their salary package represented by housing allowance. This can only be done after consultation between the SPRC, pastor, and District Superintendent and with the permission of the Conference Equitable Compensation Commission. A Request for Housing Allowance Exemption form must be completed and approved prior to this step being taken.
Accountable Reimbursement Fund
- The church must have an accountable reimbursement policy in place prior to setting up an accountable reimbursement fund. Here is a link to a basic, sample policy on which you can base yours: Accountable Reimbursement Policy.
- The Equitable Compensation Guidelines for 2020 recommend that a reimbursement fund for travel and professional expenses be set at no less than $3,500 annually for full-time. This makes the recommendation no less than $1,750 for half-time.
- You can also use the Accountable Reimbursement Worksheet to help figure an amount for the accountable reimbursement fund.
- Mileage reimbursement should be no higher than the IRS business mileage rate for a particular year. You can find that rate at https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates. If you are completing a compensation worksheet prior to release of the applicable year's rate, you can just put "IRS business rate" in the mileage field. The IRS will publish the rate sometime in December for the following year.
- Half-time clergy (unless they are retired) are participants in The United Methodist Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP). The congregation will be billed at 13% of total compensation (the total of cash salary plus either housing allowance or parsonage value - which is figured as 25% of cash salary). The clergy person has the option of designating part of their cash salary to go to their United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP), which is part of the CRSP. It is recommended that they contribute at least 1% of total compensation out of their cash salary to maximize the personal benefit they receive from the church's contribution to CRSP.
- The local church has the option to sponsor other benefits or providing extra money for benefits. This can be complex and if the church has other employees, these same benefits may have to be available to them also. Be sure to do the research ahead of time related to your particular situation. Meg Kau, Conference HR/Benefits Specialist, can answer questions about this. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 802-9224.