2017 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 2017 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 2017, we are recommending a 1.5% cost of living increase for rostered leaders. This is based on current inflation of 1.0% and forecasts that US Consumer Price Index for 2017 will be 1.5% - 2.0%.
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 was $19,000.00, the 2016 was $20,000.00, and in 2017 is $21,000.00.

Changes in the guidelines include:

  • Part II, Option 1: recommended minimum housing allowance increased to $21,000.
  • 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 2017, 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 geographical location.

Portico is responsible for analyzing past claims experience and market trends annually to ensure that enough money is collected in the coming year to meet the benefit-related needs of the ELCA faith community, while at the same time being committed to finding ways to keep the cost of health care coverage affordable for ELCA congregations. Even as health care costs continue to rise across the country, Portico, thanks to its wellness approach and administrative efficiency, was able to recommend the lowest ELCA-Primary baseline health contribution rate increase in four years. For 2017, the ELCA-Primary contribution rates will increase 5% for each of the four health benefit options and will preserve current deductibles, out-of-pocket levels, and wellness dollars.

The Disability contribution will decrease a half of a percent to 3.0% of defined compensation.

Rates for basic group life contribution insurance, retiree support, and minimum required retirement contributions will remain the same.

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/