A National Leader in 403(b)(9) Evangelical Church Plans

The Role of Church Plan Fiduciaries White Paper

We know churches. We know ministries. We know nonprofits. And we know retirement plans.

GuideStone® is an industry expert on church plan responsibilities and requirements.

Retirement plans for ministry leaders and staff are not merely nonprofit versions of a 401(k). 403(b)(9) plans have their own complexities, compliance is critical and expertise is essential. With over a century as a leading church retirement plan provider, GuideStone is the choice of over 38,000 churches and 600 ministry organizations. They have chosen to offer their staff access to GuideStone Funds®, the nation's largest faith-based mutual fund family.

For several decades, GuideStone has specialized in the intricacies of 403(b) retirement plans: properly and proactively designating housing allowance, developing the pre-eminent tax guide for pastors and their ministries, and coming alongside ministry staffs and leaders with advice in planning their future ministry during their retirement years.

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Do well. Do right. Do MORE.

Do Well. Do Right. Do More

Our retirement plans provide access to the nation's leading faith-based mutual funds.

GuideStone was founded more than 100 years ago as a relief board, helping meet the basic needs of elderly pastors and their wives. Today we help 200,000 participants prepare for the future by offering retirement plans, housing allowance designations and faith-based investing.

We shoulder the burden of administering your retirement plan.

GuideStone assumes you’re busy and don’t want to be a church retirement plan expert. You can rely on GuideStone to walk you through the retirement plan design and then be there for your organization for plan administration, expert help and extensive investment education.

Our Christian values are the heart of our retirement plans.

Just as church plans are different from other retirement plans, faith-based investors differ when making their financial decisions. GuideStone understands Christian commitment because we share that commitment. We take a stand for life, family, stewardship, health and safety in the way we screen the GuideStone Funds.

We're also proud to announce the entire GuideStone Funds family won the Lipper Fund Award for the 2019 Best Overall Small Fund Family — further supporting that investors don't have to choose between award-winning performance or investing according to their values; they can have both!

See the GuideStone Difference with Faith-based Investing >>


Value pricing for the values-based investor.

Choose your fee structure.

As with fund performance, investing around one’s personal values shouldn’t require any compromise in fees or transparency. Like many secular retirement plans, GuideStone offers an unbundled and transparent fee structure. GuideStone allows plan sponsors to exclusively use the Institutional share class and pay for plan servicing fees outside of the net expense ratio of the fund. Under this pricing model, the fee for our comprehensive plan services is unbundled into plan design, recordkeeping and administration, trustee services and participant education. That means you can pay for what you want in a plan and not a penny more.

GuideStone partners with you to build a strong retirement plan while providing alignment to your organization’s values and mission. Because we understand that retirement plans for pastors offer advantages over other retirement plan options, we can offer values in both cost and performance.

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The flexibility and choice your ministry leaders and staff expect.

The members of your team will have different investment goals and objectives, but they all share the same core values. GuideStone offers that flexibility based around our faith-based mutual funds, with a menu of retirement plan options that ranges from conservative to aggressive. Your pastor and staff can therefore choose to invest in only Christian-screened Funds from GuideStone, all the way to a custom option that includes GuideStone’s Target Date Funds combined with access to up to 20,000 non-GuideStone funds.

Our tiered-investment menu allows plan participants to select a diversified portfolio strategy based on their time, interest or knowledge of investments. We offer three investment approaches — Do It For Me, Do It Myself or Do It Together — allowing investors from novice to experienced to meet their unique savings objectives.

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Premier Flexible Custom Wide Custom Please note that GuideStone provides plan sponsors with two share class options — classified as Investor and Institutional ($1 million in plan assets to qualify).

Download Our Most Popular Publication

Ministers' Tax Guide

Preference meets performance.

75% of investors prefer values-based investing.1

Some might be surprised, assuming that there is a compromise when one invests based on personal conviction. Instead, it makes sense that deeply held beliefs strongly correspond with investment preference — because those core values don’t change like other investment factors (the market, tech trends, etc.). Values aren’t volatile.

In fact, 71% also believe it’s important to make a positive impact in the world through their investing. Moreover, 84% believe it’s critical to invest only in companies that are ethically managed.

SRI funds are ahead of the global fund universe.2

It’s not just that people want to invest based on their values. They also get strong performance when they do. In a Morningstar study conducted from 2002 through 2016, socially conscious funds were rated 4 and 5 stars in 33.5% of all instances compared to 32.5% of the overall global fund universe. Actual performance proves that those who still cling to the "negative impact” myth are misinformed.

GuideStone is part of this positive impact.

GuideStone Funds is honored, for the second time, to be awarded as the Best Overall Small Fund Family. The GuideStone Funds family won the Lipper Fund Award for 2019 Best Overall Small Fund Family over 3 years (out of 29 eligible fund families as of November 30, 2018) based on risk-adjusted total return. We believe that values and performance can work together for investors.

Learn More About GuideStone Funds' Performance >>
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Easing fiduciary responsibilities.

GuideStone Church Plans 403(b)9

GuideStone’s complementary plan support is customized to the needs of your ministry leaders and staff.

Flexibility is a large factor in GuideStone’s church retirement leadership. Like our investment lineup, tiered participant menu and customized pricing, our plan support services are also flexible. We design our administrative, recordkeeping and plan support services to complement fiduciary services and come alongside you in the same manner we come alongside our participants. GuideStone will customize how we work with you to help serve your leaders and staff.

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Engaging education.

GuideStone provides education and support to align with our faith-based mutual funds.

Implementing your retirement plan is only one short step in the overall process. The church retirement plan you choose today will be the plan on which your ministry leaders and staff rely for decades to come. Employees are just one call or email away from a one-on-one conversation with a specialist who will provide professional retirement planning assistance. When you choose GuideStone, you’ll gain strong plan support and retirement guidance from our team of highly trained ministry-minded professionals, an array of educational tools and resources and timely communication.

Customer Relations Specialists

Knowledgeable customer solutions specialists

Each specialist has a ministry-oriented background and is trained in topics such as retirement income estimates, retirement withdrawal strategies, minister’s housing allowance, investment education, and loan models and requests.

Learning Library

Learning library

Our team offers comprehensive resources to help your organization and employees receive vital plan information based on their life stage.

Planning Calculator

Financial and retirement planning calculators

For those who like to analyze their financial situation, we provide an extensive number of calculators and tools.

Portfolio Models

Retirement portfolio models

For those who like to dive deep, these hypothetical models are offered as general examples for investors' reference.

Webcast Series and Webinars

Webcast series and archives

In addition to email and phone support, your plan participants can attend a full schedule of webcasts and will have access to our archives.

Plan Info

Plan information and market updates

GuideStone provides timely communications regarding market outlooks and relevant retirement plan information.

Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors

Whether you receive one-time advice or engage in our managed account approach through GuideStone Personal Advisory Services, our professionals will provide investment insights customized to a participant’s time horizon, risk objectives and retirement savings goals.

GuideStone supports your organization in effectively communicating important information and providing educational resources to help your pastors and staff make the most of their retirement plan.

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Discover the GUIDESTONE difference.

Preparing Employees Today for Retirement Tomorrow

GuideStone shares your mission and offers comprehensive retirement plans designed to accomplish your goals. Talk to a church plan expert about our investment flexibility, competitive pricing and exceptional service: