2015 Salary Guidelines

Suggested salary guidelines for rostered leaders

“The gift he gave were that some would be . . . evangelists, some pastors, some teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

“This church affirms the universal priesthood of all its baptized members. In its function and its structure this church commits itself to the equipping and supporting of all its members for their ministries in the world and in this church. It is within this context of ministry that this church calls some of its baptized members for specific ministries in this church” (ELCA Constitution 7.11).


The 2015 Salary Guidelines for Rostered Leaders in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod are provided by the synod to assist in establishing appropriate salary packages. These guidelines are developed with awareness of both urban and suburban circumstances in our synod and of the other synods of Region 5. These synods are striving for uniformity in guidelines, although the dollar amounts may vary.
For 2015, we are recommending a 1.0% cost of living increase for rostered leaders. This is based on forecasts that US Consumer Price Index for 2015 will be roughly 1.2%.

Based on median housing costs in our synod, obtained from the 2014 data available, we determined that the minimum recommended housing allowance should be raised by $3,000.00 from $18,000.00 to $21,000.00. We recommend that this increase be made in $1,000.00 increments over a three-year period. Therefore, the 2015 minimum housing allowance is $19,000.00, the 2016 will be $20,000.00, and in 2017 will be $21,000.00.

Changes in the guidelines include:

  • Part II, Option 1: recommended minimum housing allowance increased to $19,000.
  • Part IV, Pension and Other Benefits: ELCA Medical and Dental Benefits; and
    Disability, Basic Group Life, and Retiree Support.
  • Appendix F: Portico Benefit Services Contribution Ranges

Additional Information

In 2015, Portico continues to offer four different-priced ELCA-Primary health benefit options — platinum, gold, silver, or bronze — and sponsoring employers continue to pay different health contribution rates based on defined compensation, a member’s age, and employer’s geographical location.

In April 2013, the ELCA Church Council recommended that sponsoring employers provide their plan members with the Gold+ option because it most closely resembled the ELCA-Primary health benefits being offered at that time and preserved the compensation packages (salary plus benefits) being offered. We concurred with this recommendation at that time and continue to recommend congregations choose the Gold+ option.

In 2015, ELCA-Primary contribution rates will increase 11.0% for each of the four health benefit options. This increase is due to the higher than expected 2013 and 2014 health claims incurred by plan members and their families, and expected increases in future health care costs.

The ELCA Disability contribution is also being reinstated in 2015 (suspended in 2014) at a rate of 2.5% of defined compensation.

If you have questions, please contact Steve Homberg at shomberg@mcselca.org or 773-248-0021.

Page URL: http://www.mcselca.org/congregation/admin/salary_guidelines/