The Catholic University of America

Faculty Handbook

Section C: Supplementary Provisions for Clergy and Religious

III-C-4 Retirement Benefits


As indicated above, a diocesan priest or religious cleric not under a vow of poverty who has been assigned to perform services at the University is classified as a self-employed person and is subject to the self-employment tax authorized by the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) which extended social security benefits to self-employed persons. Unless, within the first two years following his ordination, an individual cleric has applied for exemption from the self-employment tax for reasons of conscience or religious principle, he is responsible for the full payment of the self-employment tax. The University is not responsible for payment of the tax in any amount because the institution is not considered to be the employer of the cleric. Members of religious institutes under the vow of poverty are covered only if the institute has elected coverage under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA), in which case the service is regarded as employment for the institute or an autonomous subdivision of it and contributions are made by the institute, not by the University.

Clerics and religious participate in the University's retirement plan through contributions to the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF). The deduction from the enrollee's salary is based upon the total salary provided, including any parsonage allowance or contribution in kind.




Checked for formatting 9/16/13 - VAL