Benevolent Fund

The Benevolent Fund was created under a Deed of Trust dated 24th August 2017 in accordance with the decisions of the 2016 General Assembly.  The Church Property Trustees are the Trustee of the Fund. The capital has come from the excess of the funds from the winding-up of the Defined Benefit sections of the PCANZ Beneficiary Fund.;

The Benevolent Fund is not connected with the Beneficiary Fund. However, current and former members of the Beneficiary Fund are likely to fall within the category of Qualifying Persons (the objects) of this Fund.

The Presbyterian Benevolent Fund is for the provision of financial support to Qualifying Persons, which may include those who received a distribution from the winding up of the DB, who having been prudent with their distribution funds now find themselves in financial need.

Charitable objects of the Fund

The Charitable "objects" (which means the purposes for which it is formed) is for:

  • The Advancement of Religion by providing for ministers to enable them to carry out their calling, and
  • To relieve poverty, promote health, and relieve human suffering and distress by providing relief to sick, elderly or infirm ministers, and
  •  The relief of any form of necessity, destitution, or helplessness which appeals to the benevolent nature of the Charitable Fund.

Qualifying Persons

The following are Qualifying Persons and may to apply for a grant from the Presbyterian Benevolent Fund:

  • National Ordained Ministers of PCANZ (NOM)
  • Local Ordained Ministers of PCANZ (LOM) 
  • Ordination Interns and Licentiate Interns (Interns)
  • Retired NOM’s or LOM’s

In addition, the following persons will also qualify:

  • Ministers’ spouses
  • Widows/widowers of Qualifying Persons
  • Dependents of Qualifying Persons

Non-qualifying Persons

For the avoidance of doubt, employees, former employees, their widows/widowers or dependent children of PCANZ do not qualify unless they are or were Ordained Ministers (or are Interns) serving or having served in PCANZ.

Grant Categories

Four categories of grants have been created that may be considered under the `Benevolent Fund.’

1.Special Needs Grant

Special Needs Grants are generally a one-off payment for extraordinary expenditure that an applicant incurs, which they are unable to meet out of their family income or savings without seriously diminishing their resources. The applicant will need to attach evidence of them and their spouse’s financial position to support their application.

Examples include urgent medical support or assistance; capital expenses for repair or replacement of essential household items; counselling; retraining or rehabilitation costs.

The maximum level of Special Needs Grants per applicant per annum will not exceed $5,000 except in extraordinary circumstances.

2.Sickness/Disability Grant

The Sickness/Disability Grants relate to situations where a current minister (under the age of entitlement for National Superannuation) has a temporary or permanent illness or disability such that they cannot perform their existing role as a minister of PCANZ (i.e. in their existing full time or part time role). These grants may be given on a monthly basis to assist the minister with their day to day living costs, rehabilitation or medical costs or other extraordinary or miscellaneous costs that arise.

Applicants must disclose if they are or will receive financial support from other sources for the same matter such as Work and Income, Accident Compensation, income replacement insurance, other funds administered by the Church Property Trustees or PCANZ, their local parish or presbytery.

Where an applicant receives other financial support or is able to carry out their duties on a part time basis this will be taken into account in determining the level of any grant approved by the trustees of the Presbyterian Benevolent Fund.

It is important to note that the Presbyterian Benevolent Fund should not be treated as a pseudo health or income replacement cover for ministers.  Ministers will be expected to take all reasonable care in providing for their own financial needs in the event of sickness or disability.

3.Disadvantage on winding up of Defined Benefit sections of the Beneficiary Fund in 2017

Applicants who believe that they have been financially disadvantaged as a result of the winding up of the Defined Benefit sections of the PCANZ Beneficiary Fund in 2017 may apply for a one-off grant.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how the financial disadvantage arose and why a specific grant should be made to them.

Applications for grants under this category may include ministers (or their dependents) where their income, allowances, or other entitlements have decreased, or expenses have increased as a direct impact of winding up the Defined Benefit sections. A spouse’s income, assets and outgoings may be taken into account when considering this application.

4.Retirement support required as a result of winding up the Defined Benefit sections of the Beneficiary Fund in 2017

Applicants who are retired and qualify for National Superannuation, or are in long term residential care (or whose spouse meets either of these two criteria), and believe that they have been financially disadvantaged as a result of the winding up of the Defined Benefit sections of the PCANZ Beneficiary Fund in 2017 may apply for retirement support. This support may consist of a monthly grant to the applicant until their death (or the death of their spouse) or until the support is no longer required.

"Financially disadvantaged" will be considered by the trustees in equitable, actual and relative terms, so that a person who, for example, has significant assets and income may not necessarily be disadvantaged as their existing financial sources may be more than sufficient to support them in their retirement. However, applicants need not be in utter destitution or poverty stricken to apply for a grant.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how they have been financially disadvantaged; to what extent financial support is required; as well as provide evidence of their income, their assets, their outgoings; other levels of financial or other support provided (including from family trusts and Social agencies); and the balance of their distribution sum paid to them (or their spouse) on the winding up of the Defined Benefit sections of the Beneficiary Fund. A spouse’s income, assets and outgoings may be taken into account when considering this application.

Applications for all grant categories must be endorsed by the applicant’s Presbytery.

For further information or an application form, please contact:
Russell Garrett, Executive Officer, Church Property Trustees (phone (04) 381 8296 or email russell@presbyterian.org.nz or

John White, Administrative Secretary, Church Property Trustees (phone (04) 381 8290 or email johnw@presbyterian.org.nz