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Presbytery of New Brunswick Minimum Compensation and Call Neutrality Policy


Presbytery of New Brunswick Minimum Compensation and Call Neutrality Policy.

The Book of Order requires presbyteries to set minimum compensation standards for Teaching Elders. In the past, The Presbytery of New Brunswick set a minimum “Effective Salary,” expenses, and vacations. To this Effective Salary was added the percentage required for benefits provided by the Board of Pensions based on full-time employment. Fair minimum compensation for part time positions has been based upon a proportion of these calculations. Our 2016 minimum salary basis is an Effective Salary of $51,000 per year for full-time pastors. With required BoP benefits and expense accounts this makes a total minimum compensation basis of $70,392. But, as of 2017, there are more options offered by the BoP for contract (those who are not called and installed) and/or part-time ministers. This will make the confusing process of salary calculations even more complex, this is why sometimes salary consulting is necessary.

Thus, we propose changing the basis for the presbytery’s minimum compensation standards to an “everything included” salary. The Committee on Ministry would present annually for Presbytery vote the total cost to the church, allowing Teaching Elders and congregations to divide things up as they choose within BoP and Presbytery guidelines.[1]

Therefore we propose that the Presbytery of New Brunswick set its minimum total compensation basis for 2017 at $71,462 all-inclusive.[2] Minimum compensation for part-time positions would be set at $1,430 per year per hour per week (e.g. $1,430 times 10 hours per week = $14,300 per year). This provides a more accurate calculation for part-time positions. It also assures a continuation of “Call Neutrality,” a standard for compensation that would make the cost of a minister universal and independent of the pastor’s benefits package (i.e. family status, insurance available from minister’s partner, or how the dollar amount of benefits is most advantageous for the minister’s and church’s situation.) It means that, even though salary and benefits can be arranged in a wide variety of ways, the total cost to the congregation would be the same. There would be no monetary reason to prefer one candidate to another and pastors will be compensated in the same way regardless of their circumstances, their gender, or their ethnicity. It allows the churches of the New Brunswick Presbytery to know we pay each clergy member fairly. We can state in a world where women and people of color are paid less, here they are paid equally.

Even with this change, the exact calculations for each church and pastor will be unique. There are also at least two situations where rules in place by the BoP and the Presbytery will impact the final salary (specifically the minimum participation required for a position by the BoP and the Presbytery policy concerning the percentage of cash salary for pastors living in a manse).


Concrete examples:     

On the basis of our current minimum salary ($51,000) the total for a newly ordained newly called minister would be

Current Minimum




Stated Supply or Interim FT 25 hours

Stated Supply or Interim

Salary (including manse or housing allowance)          47,375  

$ 47,875





Social Security Offset (reduces BoP dues)                 3,625  

$  3,663






Effective Salary







Pension, Death and Disability  

$ 5685*





 Major medical (including family)  






Expense accounts (mileage, con ed, prof exp)  

$ 2,300





Total     $ 71,462


$70,392 $35750

*based on current numbers set by BoP

The increase for 2017 represents an increase of $500 in base salary ($51,500) plus the associated increase in BoP dues and an increase of $200 each in continuing education allowance and professional expenses. This is the recommended change in salary for 2017. This represents a total 1.5% increase. (1% of that is salary plus dues, 0.5% of it is from the increased expense accounts).  Note that for the two contract Teaching Elders, the only number required is the Total. The package will be negotiated by the church, the pastor, and the Committee on Ministry.


[1] Under the new Board of Pensions guidelines, installed pastors must be given benefits along as required by the BoP. However pastors in temporary pastoral relationships are allowed to allocate cash salary and benefits, so long as they meet this minimum basis for the total. The Committee on Ministry would be responsible for reviewing and approving every particular compensation package. The CoM encourages pastors and churches to find ways to structure their compensation in efficient ways, especially utilizing professional expenses, housing allowance and the 403b plan.

[2] These numbers would be adjusted annually (0.5% for every year of experience since ordination, and add 1.0% for every year’s service in the current call). The same as the current guidelines

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