Retirement?


#1

As our pastor ages, I have started to wonder what happens to priests when/if they retire. I remember (at least I think I do) that there was a retirement home in West Seattle for old nuns; do such places exist for priests?


#2

[quote="halleone, post:1, topic:278607"]
As our pastor ages, I have started to wonder what happens to priests when/if they retire. I remember (at least I think I do) that there was a retirement home in West Seattle for old nuns; do such places exist for priests?

[/quote]

There are special retirement homes for priests and nuns, however most in my area live in regular retirement homes. Many retired priests continue ministry as long as they are able, in which case they live in a rectory as they did before, but do not have the same pastoral responsibilities, they do Mass from time to time and help out when they can.


#3

When it comes to retirement for diocesan priests there's a phrase to remember: "When retirement comes, room and board ends."

Diocesan priest are "employed" by their assignment. Thus their paycheck and room/food come from their primary assignment. Once retired the diocesan priest does not have an assignment and is essentially on his own for arranging a place to live and food to eat. Even if a priest ends up in a diocesan retirement community he is still paying rent for his room/apartment there.

That's why some retired diocesan priests stay in rectories. However even that's not necessarily free. If they're not paying some kind of rent to the parish then they are at least expected to help cover Masses and hear confessions.


#4

How do they manage this financially? I’m assuming the only way is to put money away every month in a retirement fund. But I can’t see how that would amount to being enough for basic needs. Or are arrangements for retirement talked about with the priest’s family prior to ordination?


#5

[quote="grasscutter, post:4, topic:278607"]
How do they manage this financially? I'm assuming the only way is to put money away every month in a retirement fund. But I can't see how that would amount to being enough for basic needs. Or are arrangements for retirement talked about with the priest's family prior to ordination?

[/quote]

Well one would assume that by the time said priest were of the age of retirement, his family (well, at least those with any sort of idea of what retirement entails) would be deceased.

I've heard of retirement funds (and retirement fund collections/drives), I've heard of living in the rectory, and then I've also heard that those in a community are cared for by their community.


#6

[quote="grasscutter, post:4, topic:278607"]
How do they manage this financially? I'm assuming the only way is to put money away every month in a retirement fund. But I can't see how that would amount to being enough for basic needs. Or are arrangements for retirement talked about with the priest's family prior to ordination?

[/quote]

Every diocese is a little bit different. My diocese uses a hybrid pension plan. We are enrolled in a 403(b) retirement plan as well as a modest set pension (which hasn't had an increase in 4 years). However food and board are up to the priest. So whereas I currently have a place to live and food in my fridge paid for by the parish, once I retire I no longer have those; everything at that point I must get myself through my set pension and anything in my 403(b) plan as well as my regular savings. Also, right now for car insurance I'm on the diocesan group plan which is paid for by every parish. Once I retire I have to find and pay for my own car insurance.

However, like most people these days even that is not guaranteed. That's just what we have right now. In 20 years the diocese could decide it can't provide any kind of set pension and move everyone to a total 403(b).

Due to no increase in the set pension for the last 4 years and the uncertainty of the plan's future, many priests I know around retirement age are choosing to stay on in order to keep full salary, benefits, and room and board.


#7

Thank you for clearing that up. I will now, in addition to praying for Priests in general, pray especially for those Diocese Priests who are at retirement age.


closed #8

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