Lay Employee Pension Plan

All lay employees of the diocese or any congregation that work more than 1000 hours in a year receive pension benefits through The Church Pension Fund. The Diocese of Rhode Island and its churches have a Defined Contribution Pension Plan. You may begin contributing as soon as you are enrolled.

Defined Contribution Plan

The Episcopal Church Lay Employees’ Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DC) consists of two different plans – a 401(a) plan and a 403(b) plan.Both are administered by Fidelity Investments.

How Does the Plan Work?

  • Your employer must adopt the plan by:
  • Your employer typically contributes a base contribution equal to at least 5% of your compensation.2
  • You may contribute up to the limits set by the IRS.
  • Your employer may match your contribution. This matching contribution, when added to the employer base contribution, typically should be equal to at least 9%.2
  • Your pre-tax contribution reduces your current income for federal income tax purposes.
  • You are not required to contribute. However, you will lose out on the employer match if you choose not to contribute.2
  • You elect the amount you wish to defer to the plan.
  • You choose the investment options for your account.

Impact on Retirement Benefits

  • Your pre-tax contribution to the Defined Contribution Plan allows you to save more money for retirement.
  • When you retire, your pension benefit is based on the value of your account.
  • All growth in the account accrues to you.


  • You have several Investment Options.
  • Account growth is based on investment performance and may vary.
Your employer may have adopted only one or both plans.
Ask your employer what percentage its base contribution is, and its match, if any.

The Episcopal Church Retirement Savings Plan (RSVP) is a 403(b) tax-deferred retirement savings plan that gives lay employees the option of contributing their own money toward their retirement savings.

RSVP features include:

  • Pre-tax and after-tax contribution options
  • Ability to transfer assets and change the allocation of future contributions online or by phone
  • 24/7 access to your account
  • Daily valuation
  • Loan option
  • Investment tools to manage risk
  • Distribution option in retirement

RSVP offers a variety of investment options, so you can prepare for your retirement in the way that best serves your needs. These include Lifecycle Funds, which take the guesswork out of investing for retirement, and a mix of funds ranging from low- to high-risk.

Visit Fidelity for more information or learn more from our Retirement Savings Webinar Workshops presented in partnership with Fidelity.