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Retirement Planning

This information will help you with some the many aspects of retirement. The Pre-Retirement Checklist will also help you with this significant change in your life.

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

Retirement planning workshop

Every two years, the Diocese hosts a one-day retirement planning workshop. Clergy 55 years and older, along with their spouses, are invited to attend and receive information about the General Synod Pension Plan and financial planning.

Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)

CARP provides comprehensive advocacy, information and benefits to help with retirement planning. Clergy are encouraged to access these resources.

Financial & legal planning

You should contact a financial planner well before the time you’re planning to retire. A qualified financial planner can help you make the most suitable decisions for your retirement and help you to understand your various sources of retirement income, tax implications, and how much income you’ll need to sustain your desired lifestyle in retirement.

You’ll also want to review your will, powers of attorney, executor of your estate and any other legal matters before you retire, since these decisions may impact your financial planning.

Meet with your area bishop

Before you retire, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your area bishop to discuss the date of retirement, when to inform the churchwardens and parish, any outstanding vacation time, housing arrangements, moving needs and any possible future ministry options. Then you’ll 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’ll receive more information and forms from the diocesan Payroll Office.

Leaving your current appointment

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

Moving expenses

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

Ministry after retirement

See the Part-Time Clergy page.

Retirement income

There can be a number of sources of income available to you in retirement. As you start planning, contact each organization and ask for a retirement income projection to make sure that:

  • the information is accurate and complete
  • you have a complete understanding of your retirement income

Below is information on some of the possible sources of retirement income.

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. Years of part-time service aren’t included in the calculation for qualifying years.

For more information about the fund and qualifications, read about the Diocesan Retirement Allowance Fund. To help the Diocese calculate your qualifying service, complete the Career Summary for Retirement Benefits form.

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 Jan. 1, 1966, or when the contributor reached 18 years of age, whichever is later
  • ending the month before the contributor starts receiving a CPP retirement pension, turns 70 or dies, whichever happens first

CPP benefits don’t generally have income tax deducted, so you’ll 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’ll need to apply directly to the Canada Pension Office. The nearest Service Canada office will give you the application form, or you can download it from the Service Canada website. If you’re collecting Canada Pension but still working, you need to tell the Diocesan Payroll Office so it 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 you’ve resided in Canada after the age of 18, 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 don’t generally have income tax deducted, so you’ll 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, contact Service Canada and review the OAS and the CPP reference guide. You can apply as early as six months before age 65. You can get application forms at any post office or from the Service Canada website.

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, contact the Pension Office at 416-960-2484 (1-800-265-1070). To start collecting your General Synod Pension, complete the Application for Retirement Pension and submit it to the diocesan Payroll Office.

If you have pension plans from other sources, you’ll 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’re planning for retirement, be sure to include these sources and determine the level of income you’ll receive.

Resources on this page