The In-Service Benefit of the CRP Pension 

The In-Service Benefit is a unique opportunity that allows eligible members to continue their service as a full-time worker while receiving a monthly pension payment from the Concordia Retirement Plan (CRP). This is a payment based on the worker’s Primary Retirement Benefit (Traditional Option) and service from initial enrollment through June 30, 2014.

Who qualifies for the In-Service Benefit?

To be eligible for an In-Service Benefit, you must:

  • Have at least five years of Creditable Service in the Traditional Option of the CRP prior to June 30, 2014,
  • Be at least 65 years of age, and
  • Be working full time (more than 20 hours a week) at an employer enrolled in the CRP.


How does the In-Service Benefit work?

While you continue to serve as a full-time worker, you’ll receive a partial benefit from the CRP. You’ll continue to accrue service and benefits in the CRP and remain eligible for coverage in all other plans offered by your employer.

Your In-Service Benefits are subject to Federal Income Tax and potentially State Income Tax. It’s paid as a joint-life benefit with a 70% survivor annuity benefit.

Note: If you’re a rostered worker, the In-Service payments are fully taxable and not eligible for the housing allowance exclusion.


What happens to the In-Service Benefit if I stop working?

When you’re no longer employed full time, your In-Service payments will cease. Your CRP Primary Retirement Benefit will be recalculated using your current compensation amounts and creditable service, and reduced to reflect the In-Service Benefit payments you received.

In general, the reduced benefit amount will not be less than if you had retired and started your full Primary Retirement benefit instead of receiving the In-Service Benefit.

However, the reduced benefit amount will not be as large as the amount you would have received if you had not taken the In-Service Benefit.

When you fully retire, you’ll be given the chance to select your payment distribution option(s).


What should I considered when deciding whether to take the In-Service Benefit?

Choosing to take the In-Service Benefit is a complicated decision. It’s important to understand the pros and cons. 

  • The In-Service Benefit allows you to receive income from the Concordia Retirement Plan pension sooner but will impact your Primary Retirement Benefit amount when you fully retire. 
  • The In-Service payments are taxable income. The payments could impact your tax liability and may change your tax bracket. You may be able to alleviate some of that additional tax burden by maximizing contributions to the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan 403(b) or finding other tax-advantaged opportunities. We encourage you to contact a tax professional before making a decision. 
  • The In-Service Benefit cannot be claimed for housing allowance exclusions.

Can someone help me decide?

If you’re interested in learning more about the In-Service Benefit, contact Concordia Plans to request an estimate comparing payments if you receive the In-Service Benefit versus receiving your Primary Retirement Benefit payments at the date you retire.

Our Financial Education team would be happy to help explain the In-Service Benefit to you and assist with any other retirement question. To reach a Financial Educator, call 888-927-7526 ext. 6865 or email [email protected].