General Assembly decision

At its gathering on 15-19 November, General Assembly agreed to a raft of changes to the ministerial support package for Presbyterian national ordained ministers, including changes to the Beneficiary Fund. On this page, you will find material related to the decision to wind-up the defined benefits section of the Beneficiary Fund including:

General Assembly decision

A summary of the decisions agreed by General Assembly are noted below:

  • That the defined benefit section of the Beneficiary Fund be wound up, effective 30 June 2017.
  • That a new (additional) defined contribution section be established and current members and annuitants be permitted to join this section.
  • The scheme be closed to new members until the scheme is reorganised and reopened on 1 July 2017.
  • That the surplus in the fund be distributed in accordance with Rule B19.2(g) of the Trust Deed by General Assembly for charitable purposes. Firstly, $800,000 of the surplus to be retained or returned to the scheme to be held as a general reserve, and secondly the balance of the surplus to be held on trust for charitable purposes, specifically the advancement of religion, in particular for the support of ministers of religion
  • That the ministerial support package be replaced with a package for all ministers that includes:
    • A 6 percent increase in basic stipend (congregation-funded)
    • Long service adjustment to stipend based on length of service to remain the same.
    • Church Beneficiary Fund contribution be 5 percent of total stipend (congregation-funded)
    • Beneficiary Fund contribution at a minimum of 5 percent of total stipend including long service adjustment paid by all members (individual minister funded)
    • Housing and other allowances to remain the same
    • Membership of the Fund shall remain compulsory for all national ordained ministers
    • Church Kiwisaver contribution for locally ordained ministers be no less than 5 percent (congregation funded)
  • Congregations be encouraged to pay all employees no less than the living wage according to resolution of GA 2012.
  • Congregations be encouraged to contribute employer Kiwisaver contributions at no less than five percent.
  • Assembly Assessment be reduced to reflect the removal of the Beneficiary Fund charge currently included in the Assembly Assessment.
  • The appointment of a corporate trustee to act as trustee of the scheme in place of the Fund’s current trustees, as part of the scheme’s transition to the Financial Markets Conduct Act.
  • Council of Assembly be given delegated authority to do all other necessary and incidental things on behalf of the General Assembly to finalise and implement the resolutions, including without limitation approving necessary changes and amendments to the Trust Deed.


A variety of resources are available on this page to assist Beneficiary Fund members, annuitants and parishes understand the proposed changes to the retirement support programme offered to ministers, other leaders and employees.

A variety of factsheets have also been prepared:

Actuarial Process and Assumptions

Please click here to view the document.

Beneficiary Fund Trust Deed

Deed of Amendment to Trust Deed 5 April 2018

Wind-up Newsletter

During the period between the General Assembly decision to wind-up the defined benefit section of the Beneficiary Fund, and when this decision was executed, regular updates were published to members on the status of the wind-up process. Read the wind-up newsletters