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Religious Organizations

While non-ERISA church plans are not subject to the same rules as 401(k) or other types of qualified plans, the best ones operate their plans with the same level of rigor. NWPS provides retirement plan recordkeeping and administration services to a range of religious organizations from local dioceses to national congregations. We understand what it takes to support their unique operating, financial, investment, human resource and retirement environments.


The most common operational challenge comes from the multi-unit nature of a regional or national congregation. Many of these plans allow each operating unit (church, clinic, school, etc.) to determine if they want to participate in the plan or not. Often, large church plans operate like MEPs with many participating employers. Our largest church plan is submitting 800 payroll feeds per week to NWPS. We have helped them dramatically streamline and expedite that process.


Most church plans have specific criteria for their investments. They will screen investments for compliance with the church’s principles and beliefs. This often leads to utilizing separate accounts where the church has fine control over investment criteria. Other churches use socially screened mutual funds. We can accommodate either option. One NWPS church plan client uses socially screened, separate accounts for the core funds in each asset sector, and custom target date funds made up of those core funds.

HR/Retirement Focus

We find that our church plan clients place high value on how we serve and help their people retire with dignity. This is evident in three areas. First, there is a focus on ensuring that employees are in the plans, contributing and investing appropriately. Perhaps a bit more paternalistic than many corporate clients. Second, there is a clear expectation that everyone be treated with respect which is also a core NWPS value. Finally, retirement readiness is not just a slogan. Our church plan clients are implementing innovative solutions to grow, protect and ensure lifetime retirement income.