Clergy Work After Retirement

The following are the general rules concerning clergy working after official retirement: 

  • All compensated work after retirement within the church must be approved by the Bishop.
  • The position must be in a church or other institution other than the one from which the cleric retired.
  • Total remuneration may reach, but not exceed, 40% of the median compensation of all clergy.
  • Retired clergy under the age of 72 cannot earn more from work in the Church than the maximum set every year by the Church Pension Fund.
  • The Fund will grant exceptions in limited cases at the request of the Diocesan Bishop for reasons of missionary strategy.


In addition to this please note the following message from the Bishop:

For many years the Canons of the General Convention required that, upon attaining the age of 72, each Member of the Clergy still working had to retire and resign from the position he or she held. Thereafter, with the annual permission of the Bishop and the Standing Committee the cleric could serve in any position in the Church except the position from which the cleric retired.

Among the less noted actions of the 2003 General Convention was an amendment of this canon. The current relevant canon reads:  Upon attaining the age of seventy-two years, a Priest occupying any position in this Church shall resign that position and retire from active service, and the resignation shall be accepted. Thereafter, the Priest may accept any position in this Church, including, with the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority, the position or positions from which resignation pursuant to this Section has occurred&.  (Title III, Canon 9, Section 7, page 80 of the 2003 Constitution & Canons).

The Bishop of New York believes that the policy for work after the mandatory retirement age of 72 for priests and bishops is a good one, and further, that a move from the position that they have held is also a good thing. He does not, therefore, expect to give permission for a priest to continue in the same position after having reached the age of 72. If there are exceptions, they will be extremely rare and will be made only for sharply clear and convincing reasons of missionary strategy for that particular congregation.

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