Benefits Assistant
(978) 682-7676 ext. 122


Health and wellness benefits

Who’s covered*? 

  • Full-time and three-quarter time active clergy at local churches or clergy appointed to staff positions.
  • Conference employees (permanent employees regularly scheduled for 30+ hours per week).  
  • Lay employees of the church (Contact your church for eligibility).
  • Dependents and surviving dependents of participants: children (subject to age and status rules up to age 26 regardless of student status).
  • Clergy on leave, who were enrolled prior to leave (coverage period applies).
  • Spouses and surviving spouses of enrolled retired participants who were married prior to the date of retirement.
  • Retirees who were continuously enrolled for five years in the Conference health insurance plan (and/or that of the former Troy Conference), with pension responsibility, immediately preceding retirement (with no breaks in coverage).

*Note: Breaks in coverage may affect participant eligibility.

Health plans for clergy and Conference staff (younger than 65):

The New England Conference offers six plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) through the HealthFlex Exchange along with wellness programs through Virgin Pulse. 

Find the details and more links on this page HealthFlex Medical/Dental/Vision Coverage 

For question about your HealthFlex coverage

Contact the New England Conference Benefits Department or the Health Team at Wespath at or (800) 851-2201

Health plans for clergy and Conference staff (65 and older):

The New England Conference offers the United HealthCare Group Medicare Advantage PPO Plan and Guardian Dental to Medicare Eligible and age 65 and over, and to Medically Disabled on Medicare Part B.

Find the more information and links on the page United Healthcare Group Medicare Advantage PPO

For questions about your United HealthCare coverage 

Optavise Advocates are available to assist with any benefits or health care concern.


Co-pays: Active pastors and conference staff with health insurance coverage may have a personal contribution for their health insurance plan, known as the health insurance co-pay. The insurance premium co-payment will be determined by the health, dental and vision plans elected during the annual election period in the fall of every year. The health insurance premium co-payment is a pre-tax payroll deduction. 

Retiree health insurance 

Clergy and Conference lay employees are eligible to take health insurance into retirement. Retired participants and covered spouses and dependents are covered under the same pre-retirement benefit options, unless age restrictions apply (i.e., Medicare entitlement).

To be eligible, participants must have 5 years in the Conference health insurance plan, with pension responsibility, immediately preceding retirement (with no breaks in coverage).

Retiree health insurance subsidy 

Clergy and Conference lay employees are eligible for a health insurance subsidy credit through the Conference Board of Pensions. 

To qualify for subsidy credit toward the cost of health insurance in retirement, you must have participated in the New England Conference health insurance plan for at least 10 years, with pension responsibility, immediately prior to retirement from the NEAC, its predecessors or the Troy Annual Conference.

The subsidy credit is based on the cost of the current Medicare plan. Those with 10-29 years of service, receive a credit of 3.3% for each year of qualified service. Those with 30 or more years qualify for 100% subsidy credit.

The spouse of record at the time of retirement and any disabled dependent children will be eligible for the same subsidy as the participant based on the above. Other dependents are not eligible for subsidy credit.

Contact the Conference Benefits Department about eligibility and costs.

Retiree co-pay 

Additionally, there is a retiree co-pay (Retiree Health Benefit Contribution). The Retiree Health Benefit Contribution is adopted annually by resolution. If you receive a percentage of benefit toward the cost of your health/dental/vision coverage, you are charged that same percentage as your Retiree Health Benefit Contribution (retiree co-pay). For example, if you receive 60 percent toward your health coverage, you will pay 60 percent of the co-pay amount set for that year. Only the retiree and eligible spouse pay the retiree co-pay, other dependents do not have to pay into the Benefits Stabilization Fund.

Pension and welfare benefits

Wespath Benefits and Investments administers the retirement plans for United Methodist clergy and lay staff. 

Wespath and its subsidiaries maintain one of the largest faith-based pension funds in the world, serving more than 100,000 active and retired clergy and lay employees of the Church, including more than 3,300 international retired clergy and beneficiaries. Click the link to learn more.

Clergy pension benefits

  • Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP)  is a 403(b)-retirement plan for eligible clergy of The United Methodist Church. CRSP is a combined Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC) program 

Participation in CRSP is mandatory for all active and credentialed clergy appointed ½ time or more, to local churches or positions for which the annual conference has pension responsibility. 

CRSP does not accept participant contributions, but you can potentially grow your personal savings by making contributions to UMPIP.  Every pay period, your annual conference contributes 2% of your plan compensation to your defined contribution retirement account.  Your annual conference also matches any personal contributions to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (see more below) up to 1% of your plan compensation.

Personal retirement savings plan

  • United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) is a 403(b)-retirement plan for both clergy and lay employees, administered by Wespath Benefits and Investments and is arranged between the local church/salary paying unit and Wespath. 

Participation in UMPIP is optional. 

Find other resources at Wespath Retirement and Investment Resources

Clergy death and disability plans

Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP)

CPP Schedule of Benefits 

Provides death benefits, long-term disability income replacement and certain other survivor benefits for eligible clergy and their families.

Who’s eligible? Clergy appointed full-time (100%) and 3/4-time (75%) who are Full and Provisional Members (Elders and Deacons), Associate Members and clergy of other Methodist denominations earning at least 25% of denominational average compensation (DAC) and Full Time (100%) Local Pastors.

UMLife Options 

UMLife plans offer long-term disability and life insurance coverage for some clergy not eligible for CPP.

Who’s eligible? Clergy appointed half time (50%), Full and Provisional Members (Elders and Deacons), Associate Members, and clergy of other Methodist Denominations who are not eligible for CPP plan.

Clergy Supplemental Life Insurance 

The voluntary Optional Life Insurance Plan gives eligible clergy the option to purchase additional life insurance coverage. Clergy must be enrolled in Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP) to add additional supplemental life insurance coverage. 

For churches

Health insurance blended rate costs for churches

New England Conference Health Coverage Policy mandates all charges receiving full-time or three-quarter time appointment of a pastor(s) be assessed the blended rate of Health Insurance.

The blended rate is a set charge for health insurance billed to the church approved by the annual conference regardless of contract type. Every church pays the same blended rate of health insurance premium. The blended rate assists the local church in budgeting and financial planning. The premium may be split between churches served by the three-quarter time or full-time pastor.

Health insurance costs for lay employees of the church

Local church lay employees are billed 100% of actual premium elections plus a Benefit Stabilization cost, per plan, per month.

Church Dashboard/People Portal

The Church Dashboard/People Portal ( is a tool for pastors and local church leaders that allows you to view the information about your church/es that is in the Conference database.

Pastors, SPRC Chairs, Treasurers, Church/Admin Council Chairs, and Lay Leaders have access to this information any time using a unique username and password.

Using the Portal, Pastors, SPRC Chairs and Treasurers also have access to the pastor’s benefits information, allowing you to confirm your pastor’s health insurance and pension benefit billing information for your church when applicable.

Automatic Clearing House (ACH) Authorization Agreement (for Church use)

ACH transactions are electronic payments created when the church Pastor, SPRC Chair or Treasurer gives the Conference authorization to debit directly from the churches checking or savings account for the purpose of bill payment.  

Additionally, utilizing the ACH option for pastor pension and/or health insurance payments provides a discounted premium! Authorizations are to be submitted annually for each bill.  

Authorizations are completed electronically via the Church Dashboard in the People Portal found on the Conference website