Benefits for Support Staff

Does a church have to offer benefits to support staff if they offer them to pastors?

Comments for Benefits for Support Staff

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Feb 04, 2014
Benefits for Support Staff
by: Anonymous in NC

Yes, if the support staff member is a full-time employee. It would not be fair otherwise.

Feb 04, 2014
quilfied employee
by: Sandi

it depends on the church policy and which benefits you are giving, check out

For example: housing allowance is only for qualified clergy while any educational benefits are for all qualified employees.


Feb 08, 2014
Not necessary to extend benefits to other staff
by: Bill OConnell

Employers are not required to extend benefits uniformly to all employees. Rather, different categories of employees can be treated differently.

For example medical benefits could be extended to clergy and not be extended to lay staff.

Anonymous comment about fairness is a good goal, but it is not mandatory.

Dec 29, 2016
health benefits
by: Casey S

Actually, since 2013 if an employer offers health insurance to any employee, it must (according to the DOL) offer the health plan to all employees working 30 hours or more (this is the new full-time rule for health plans).

That does not mean the church has to pay the same amount towards health insurance.

A church (or any employer) can class its employees into mgmt vs non-mgmt, hourly vs salary, etc. It can contribute differently among those classes of employees (for example, all of pastors/managers and none or 50% towards all other full-time employees).

If the pastor is an employee (which they typically are) you must also be aware of discrimination testing of your benefit plans you offer.

They cannot favor the highly compensated (top wage earners) too heavily or you could violate other IRS rules. It is a little more complex than just a yes or no and one should seek the advice of a benefit adviser/broker who knows their stuff in this area.

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