Do Nuns Get Social Security (When Did Nuns Start Getting Social Security)?

As a theologian, I have always been interested in understanding the lives of nuns. I was particularly fascinated with the Catholic Church’s leadership levels and orders among the nuns. Most importantly, I wanted to understand their social standing and if they get social security. So, there was no doubt that my thesis research led me down the path to Italy, Spain, and communities across the country. Some of my students mentioned the possibility of nuns leading their lives without social security and retiring from the church’s service, but they wanted to learn more. Based on my research, I learned more about the lives of the nuns and their retirement plans. So, do nuns get social security?

Yes, nuns are often eligible for monthly social security, although they often receive a very small amount. It’s noted that, unlike the secular retirees who receive as much as $9650 annually, nuns only receive about $3,333 in their annual pension. In addition to social security, eligible nuns receive Medicare and Medicaid.

In this post, I’ll share more insights into nuns’ lives when they finally retire, where they receive their pensions and more. So, keep reading for more. 

Where do nuns get their money?

Nuns get or make their money in three main ways, through their churches (offerings), alms, and the sale of crafted goods. Since most of the convents and monasteries receive donations, the nuns often use them for their living expenses, besides their use in catering for the causes they support. In other instances, their dioceses and other employers or organizations in partnership with the convents will provide some kind of support or stipends for the nuns and the monks.

Lastly, some convents or monastic communities make or produce crafts and goods that they will sell for profit.

What do nuns do when they retire?

When Did Nuns Start Getting Social Security?
What do nuns do when they retire? Image source: Pixabay

Upon their retirement, most nuns remain in the service of their ministries, often praying. The nuns often choose to remain nuns even past their retirement age, and most never leave the convents or monasteries. They are often willing to remain fully active in their service of prayer and community service well past retirement or until they cannot serve anymore. 

It’s worth noting that despite their age, nuns constantly pray for all the people in need, and they also take turns to pray, especially when their communities and certain groups are in crisis.

When did nuns start getting social security?

Nuns started participating in and contributing to social security when the federal law changed in 1972 and started saving for their retirement in 1973. So, most of the nuns only started getting their social security in 1972, and so they only started receiving social security from 1972.

It’s also important to note that even though the IRS regards churches as Tax-Exempt institutions, the tax man doesn’t follow the same laws regarding the employees of the church, like the nuns and priests, and so these individuals file taxes. But because nuns vow poverty, they don’t file income taxes. So, for them to receive social security, they are required to file the Schedule SE or Form 1040 Form, also called the Self Employment Tax form. 

How much do nuns get for monthly social security checks?

Do Nuns Get Social Security?
How much do nuns get for monthly social security checks? Image source: Pixabay

Nuns receive about $277.75 monthly for their social security checks and $3,333 annually. Unfortunately, not all nuns earn social security since some are not eligible. As a result, they rely on the church and the Catholic church’s community for their expenses and support before and in retirement. 

Why don’t nuns get the full benefits of their social security payments?

The nuns don’t receive full benefits from their social security payments because of their vows for poverty, which would mean that they don’t file income tax. 

That said, the nuns who work as nurses or teachers earn competitive salaries, and they also get to invest in things like stocks and bonds, which helps them earn a relatively good amount in social security.

Leave a Comment