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Eligibility in the Retirement Plan depends on:

1. Y service: Employees must complete 1,000 hours of service during each of any two 12-month periods, beginning with their date of hire or anniversary date. The two years do not have to be consecutive.

2. Age: Once employees complete the service requirement, they must be enrolled on the first day of the month following their anniversary date, provided they are 21 years of age. If the anniversary date falls on the first of the month, they are enrolled on their anniversary date.

Once a Y employee is eligible, participation in the Retirement Plan is mandatory. Enrollment takes place in YERDI. Best practice is that employees complete an Application to Participate and that it is kept on record at the Y for accurate record keeping. If the employee is required to contribute to the Retirement Plan, an Application to Participate must be completed and kept on record.

Once an employee satisfies all eligibility requirements and is enrolled in the Plan, they will continue to participate as long as they work for a Y, regardless of hours worked. This rule is based on the minimum eligibility requirements for hours worked under the Internal Revenue Code. This is a legal requirement, not the Fund's rule.

Part-time employees are eligible if they satisfy the eligibility requirements. Once enrolled, they continue to participate even if they work less than 1,000 hours in subsequent years.

Always be sure to ask a new hire if they have ever been enrolled in the Retirement Plan or worked for any Y. It may affect their participation.

If an eligible employee is enrolled late, your Y will owe all contributions and interest for the period during which the employee was eligible but not enrolled, even if these should have been deducted from their paycheck.

Prior and Concurrent Service

Ys must take into account all of the employee’s prior and concurrent service at participating Ys when establishing eligibility to be enrolled in the Retirement Plan.

If there is no break in Y employment, or a minimal break in Y employment (less than 12 months), employees who have completed the service and age requirements will be enrolled on the first day of the month following their original anniversary date, even if by that time they are employed by a participating Y other than the one that first hired them. (If their original anniversary date has already passed when they begin employment with the new Y, they will be immediately enrolled.)

Example: Mary, age 23, was hired on July 31, 2014. On January 1, 2015, she was hired part-time at a second participating Y. During each of the 12-month periods beginning on July 31, 2014 and July 31, 2015, she accumulated well over 1,000 hours between her two Y jobs. She was enrolled in the Retirement Plan on August 1, 2016.

Example: Nick, age 36, was hired on February 15, 2015. He worked 1,000 hours in the 12-month period beginning on February 15, 2015. From February 15, 2016 to November 30, 2016 he completed another 1,000 hours before leaving his Y. On December 1, 2016, he was hired by another participating Y. Because Nick had met the eligibility and age requirements already, his new Y employer enrolled him in the Retirement Plan on March 1, 2017, the first of the month following his original date of hire.

Example: Gary, age 50, was hired on May 15, 2014. He worked 1,000 hours in the 12-month period beginning on May 15, 2014. From May 15, 2015 to August 31, 2015, he worked 500 hours before leaving his Y. On January 1, 2016, he was hired by another participating Y and worked 500 hours from January 1 to May 14, 2016. His new Y employer enrolled him in the Retirement Plan on June 1, 2016, the first of the month following his original date of hire.

Example: Lydia, age 39, was hired on July 1, 2014. She worked 1,000 hours in the 12-month period beginning on July 1, 2014. From July 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016 she completed another 1,000 hours before leaving her Y. On September 1, 2016, she was hired by another participating Y. Because Lydia had met the eligibility and age requirements already, her new Y employer enrolled her immediately in the Retirement Plan (her original date of hire had already passed).


The following counts as hours of service:

  1. Each hour for which an employee is paid or entitled to payment, for performance of duties for the YMCA.

  2. Each hour for which an employee is on paid leave (paid by the YMCA not a third party) and no duties are performed (paid vacation time, holidays, sick time, leave of absence, etc.) not to exceed 501 hours for any single continuous period of leave even if that leave period spans two 12-month anniversary years. 

Example: Paul is employed by the YMCA and his anniversary year runs from April 1st to March 31st.  On January 14th, he was in a skiing accident during a weekend trip and is receiving short-term disability insurance paid for by the YMCA during his recovery until April 30th.  Assuming Paul typically worked a 40-hour week, if all of his paid leave was counted, Paul might receive 440 hours for the short-term disability leave up to March 31st (first anniversary year) and then 61 hours for short-term disability leave in April (second anniversary year).  Since this is one continuous leave period, he cannot receive more than 501 hours of service credit for this paid leave period.

Determining the Number of Hours to Credit

  1. When an employee earns hours based on a specified unit of time: for example one vacation day equals 8 hours of service, they will receive 8 hours for that one vacation day.

  2. When hourly equivalent is not specified, the number of hours credited is the number of regularly scheduled working hours included in the unit of time.  

Example: Paul's disability leave pay is determined based on the number of days he is disabled and Paul was typically scheduled to work 6 hours per day. Therefore, he would receive 6 hours of service for each day of disability pay.

Tracking Hours in YERDI Eligibility Tracking

If you have employees who are on paid leave and you use YERDI Eligibility Tracking, you will need to make sure they receive the correct amount of hours whether through your pay file upload or by manually editing their hours in the View/Edit Employee section. 


If you fail to enroll an employee timely and less than 12 months have passed since their eligibility date, you can enroll them in YERDI and make any missed payments with an by creating an Additional Transmittal. If more than 12 months have passed, the Fund will need to enroll the participant. You must complete and send the Fund a Retroactive Enrollment form.


Participation in the Retirement Plan is a mandatory condition of Y employment. If an employee meets all of the following requirements, they may waive participation if they choose:

  • The Y requires participants to contribute a portion of the total retirement percentage (a fully paid Y does not have the option to allow employees to waive participation),
  • The employee is hired for the first time (cannot be a re-hire who was previously enrolled in the Retirement Plan),
  • The employee is hired at the age of 60 or older.

If the employee chooses to waive and meets all of the above requirements, they will need to complete a Waiver of Participation form and return it to you with proof of age—such as a copy of a driver’s license or birth certificate. Mail the completed waiver and proof of age to the Fund, but keep a copy in the employee’s personnel folder as part of their employment record for future reference.


Federal law and your Y’s agreement with the Fund govern whether an employee who performs services for a Y under a contract between a leasing organization and the Y, are eligible for the Retirement Plan. Contact the Fund’s Customer Service Department for special rules.

Welcome Kit

Once an employee is enrolled in the Retirement Plan or the Savings Plan, the Fund mails a Welcome Kit to their home which includes:

  1. A Fund ID number- this account specific number will allow participants to create an account on our website to gain access to their balance, annuity estimates and other participant specific information:

  2. Designation of Beneficiary form

  3. 403(b) Smart Account form

  4. Fund Basics

  5. Rollover Authorization form

  6. Guiding You Through the YMCA Retirement Fund- From Hire to Retire...

  7. Summary Plan Description (SPD)