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Strong. Caring. Dependable.

You Make a Difference in Your Workers’ Future

The retirement benefits industry has been through tremendous change. Many employers have chosen to leave behind the traditional pension benefit – shifting the bulk of responsibility for funding retirement to the worker. Not ministries in the Concordia Retirement Plan (pension). 

Concordia Plan Services proudly offers the CRP (pension), and the ministries that provide the pension for their workers remain committed to providing life-long retirement benefits to those who have spent a career in His service. The pension is poised to provide the workers of today with income they’ll need in retirement—and it’s not going anywhere.


Q. What is the CRP?

The Concordia Retirement Plan is a pension plan. To put it simply, when your eligible workers retire, they’ll each receive a pension income for the rest of their lives. If or when the time comes, that income is passed on to the retiree’s eligible surviving spouse.

Q. So how does a pension plan work?

As an employer, you contribute funds into the CRP on your workers’ behalf. Those funds are then pooled together with funds from other LCMS ministries and invested. When your eligible workers retire, they will receive monthly retirement income (known as a pension benefit) for the rest of their lives. Workers also have the ability to provide a benefit to their surviving spouses. The amount of income is calculated using a specific formula.


Pension plans are different from retirement savings plans, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b). In a retirement savings plan, the money you contribute for your worker (known as a match), plus the money that the worker saves, is placed in a specific account for that individual worker. The income the worker receives during retirement is based on the balance and return of his/her specific account.

Q. Why would I offer the CRP? Aren’t pensions outdated?

We’re so glad you asked. There are many reasons to offer the CRP to your workers:


Strong: The CRP, and pension plans in general, are designed to provide retirees with security. A pension benefit provides income in retirement for the remainder of the worker’s life, and potentially the spouse’s life. Workers don’t have to worry about the benefit depleting, they can be confident in the fact that their income will arrive every month.


Caring: By offering a pension plan, you are making an investment in your workers’ future. After years of service to the LCMS community, this benefit helps provide the retirement income they will need.


Dependable: Because the funds in the CRP are pooled, the investment risk is spread out over all enrolled members. Our best-in-class investment managers and consultants diversify the CRP’s funds. Unlike a 401(k) or 403(b) only approach, where workers can miscalculate how long the funds will be available, CRP pension benefits will provide a steady source of income.

Q. What benefits will my workers receive?

The CRP offers two benefit options: the Traditional Option and the Account Option. The income your worker will receive upon retirement will depend on which option the worker is enrolled in, and the length of time he/she is enrolled in the Plan.

  • The CRP Traditional Option provides a secure monthly retirement benefit based on the worker’s final monthly compensation, creditable service and the integration level. This monthly income will continue throughout the worker’s retirement.
  • The Account Option provides the Retirement Cash Account that grows each year with compensation credits (based on the worker’s salary) and interest credits (a fixed percentage).
Q. Who is eligible for benefits?

If you have adopted the CRP, all of your full-time workers are eligible to be enrolled in the CRP. The CRP defines a full-time worker as someone hired to work more than 20 hours per week and more than five consecutive months a year.


Vesting in the CRP is based on how long the worker is enrolled in the Plan. Vesting and benefits are based on months and years of membership in the Plan, also known as Creditable Service.

  • Workers are vested in their Account Option Benefits after three years of Creditable Service in the CRP.
  • Workers are vested in their Traditional Option Benefits after five year of Creditable Service in the CRP.