February 16, 2018

Hey Fletch … A guy just told me that he has a lifetime salary from his church. What are your thoughts about that kind of retirement plan?

DRF—In a GuideStone presentation at the XP-Seminar, one year we learned about Rabbi Trusts. They are valid unless the church goes bankrupt. I never thought that I would hear about it again. According to news reports, the Rev. Robert Schuller learned a hard lesson when the Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy and apparently he lost his retirement.

Though different from a Rabbi Trust, a pastor that receives a “lifetime salary” could be headed for future trouble. I would be wary and would consult an attorney and financial advisor about the concept. My preference is to provide cash for a church sponsored retirement plan for all staff.