Retirement Planning

In the event of a discrepancy between the information on this website and the Policies, the terms of the Policies will apply.

The following information is designed to help you with some the many aspects of retirement. The Pre-Retirement Checklist will also assist you with this significant change in your life. To see more information on each item, click the heading.


Retirement Planning Workshop
Every two years, the Diocese hosts a one-day retirement planning workshop. Clergy 55 years and older are invited to attend and receive information about the General Synod Pension Plan and a Financial Planning. Spouses are also invited to attend.

Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)
CARP provides comprehensive advocacy, resource information and benefits to help with retirement planning. Clergy are encouraged to access the resources available through the Association.

Financial and Legal Planning
It is advisable to contact a financial planner well before the time you are planning to retire. A qualified financial planner can help you to make the most suitable decisions for your retirement and help you understand your various sources of retirement income, tax implications, and how much income you will need to sustain your desired lifestyle in retirement.

You will also want to review your will, powers of attorney, executor of your estate and any other legal matters prior to your retirement as these decisions may impact your financial planning.

Meet with Area Bishop
Prior to your retirement, you will need to schedule an appointment with your Area Bishop to discuss the date of retirement, the date for informing the churchwardens and parish, any outstanding vacation time, housing arrangements, moving needs, and any possible future ministry options. You will then need to inform the Area Bishop in writing of your intention to retire. Once the Area Bishop has accepted your retirement notice in writing, you will receive further information and forms from the Diocesan Payroll Office.

Leaving Your Current Appointment
Appointments by their nature are time limited. Clergy come into a community usually for 5-10 years and leave, but lay members in the community remain. It is therefore extremely important how clergy take their leave of an appointment for the good of the parish community. It is also important for future clerics who will be assigned to the parish. As your appointment comes to an end, please read Leaving your Current Appointment, which includes best practices and information during the transition period.

Retirement Income

There can be a number of sources of income available to you in retirement, and as you begin your planning you should contact each organization and ask for a retirement income projection to ensure that a) the information is accurate and complete and b) you have a complete understanding of your retirement income. Below is information on some of the possible sources of retirement income:

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
CPP is a federal government program based on contributions on earnings. It ensures a measure of income support against the loss of income due to retirement, disability, or death. The contribution period is defined as starting on January 1, 1966, or when the contributor reached 18 years of age, whichever is later; and ending the month before the contributor begins to receive a CPP retirement pension, turns 70, or dies, whichever happens first. CPP benefits do not generally have income tax deducted, so you will need to either apply for deductions at source (through Service Canada) or plan to pay the appropriate taxes each year.

To collect CPP benefits you will need to make application directly to the nearest Canada Pension Office. The nearest Service Canada office will provide the application form or they can be obtained from its website. If you are collecting Canada Pension but still working, the diocesan Payroll Office needs to be informed so that they can stop the CPP deductions.

Old Age Security (OAS)
OAS is a federal government program financed from general federal tax revenues. It pays monthly pension benefits to all Canadians 65 and over who meet the residence and legal status requirements. The amount of the OAS pension is determined by how long a person has resided in Canada after the age of 18 years, according to specific rules. A person who has resided in Canada for at least 40 years after reaching the age of 18 may qualify for a full OAS pension. OAS benefits do not generally have income tax deducted, so you will need to either apply for deductions at source (through Service Canada) or plan to pay the appropriate taxes each year.

For the specific qualification criteria, please contact Service Canada and review the OAS and the CPP Reference Guide. Application can be made as early as six months before age 65. Application forms may be obtained at any post office or accessed through from Service Canada.

Pension Plans
The General Synod Pension Plan is a multi-employer pension plan registered with the province of Ontario. All clergy remunerated through the Diocesan Central Payroll on a stipendiary basis are part of this plan. To receive a projection of your retirement income, please contact the Pension Office at 416-960-2484 (1-800-265-1070). To begin collection of your General Synod Pension, please complete the Application for Retirement Pension and submit the form to the diocesan Payroll Office.

If you have pension plans from other sources, you will need to notify those organizations of your retirement date and determine the appropriate application process.

RRSPs and other investment incomes
You may also have contributed to personal RRSPs or have other investment income. As you are planning for retirement, be sure to include these sources and determine the level of income you will receive.


Diocesan Retirement Allowance
You may be eligible for the Diocesan Retirement Allowance. Qualification is based on 20 years of full-time service within the Diocese of Toronto. If you have less than 20 years of full-time service the allowance will be prorated; however, please note that years of part-time service are not included in the calculation for qualifying years. For more information about the fund and qualifications, please read Diocesan Retirement Allowance Fund. In order to assist the Diocese with calculating your qualifying service, please complete the Career Summary for Retirement Benefits form.

Post-Retirement Benefits
Clergy who are members of the Diocesan Active Benefits Plan may be eligible for Post-Retirement Benefits. In order to be eligible for post-retirement benefits, you must retire from full-time, active service with the Diocese of Toronto under the terms of the General Synod Pension Plan. Therefore, you must start receiving your pension in order to secure Post-Retirement Benefits.  Benefit plan premiums will be shared by a retiree and the Diocese at a percentage dependent on the retiree’s years of credited service. Clergy who commenced service with the Diocese on or after December 1, 2006 must also meet further qualification criteria. For more information, please read the Post-Retirement Benefits Qualifications Criteria. In order to assist the Diocese with calculating your qualifying service, please complete the Career Summary for Retirement Benefits form.

Other Benefits
For more information about Post-Retirement Health Benefits and the effect of retirement on life insurance, long-term disability and the Continuing Education Plan, please see Retirement Benefits.

Moving Expenses
As per Canon 11, upon retirement clergy may be eligible for a contribution to assist with moving from a rectory. Currently the maximum reimbursement amount is $1,500 (as of January 1, 2016) payable with the submission of documented receipts. The parish may also use the Moving Cost Reimbursement form. For more information, please contact the Human Resources department.