St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese Adopts 403(b)

February 4, 2011 ( - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced a change in its retirement benefits for lay employees, which was effective in January.

The Catholic News Service reports that the archdiocese, which had previously offered a defined benefit pension plan for its more than 6,800 lay employees and retirees, has switched to a 403(b) plan where employers contribute 2.5% of salary to employees’ tax-deferred annuity accounts. The defined benefit plan was frozen as of January 31.  

According to CNS, John Bierbaum, the archdiocese’s chief financial officer, told The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper, that the shift came about because of the market collapse and the fact that an increased number of lay employees with longer years of service at higher salaries required more pension funding. He said the new plan was seen as the best option to preserve the pension plan and help employees continue to save for retirement.