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Unique Eligibility Cases
Employees with Previous Y Service

If an employee was previously enrolled in the Retirment Plan and returns to Y employment (at the same or another participating Y), enrollment in the Retirement Plan depends on their vesting status. 

  • For employees vested in employer contributions, the rule is easy: they resume participation immediately upon their return regardless of how long they have been gone.

  • For employees who were previously enrolled but not vested in employer contributions, the rules vary. The employee resumes participation immediately if they were away less than six years. If they were away more than six years, they will be treated as a new hire, and prior service will not count towards eligibility.

Employees who have a Personal Account and/or an Additional Y Account are always vested in them, regardless of who made the contributions originally. Therefore, employees who worked for a Y that made contributions to their Personal Account on their behalf or to an Additional Y Account must resume participation immediately upon their return, regardless of the length of their period of severance from Y employment.

If an employee was never previously enrolled in the Retirement Plan, enrollment depends on two factors: a) how long the employee was away, and b) the extent to which the employee met eligibility prior to leaving the Y.

  • If an employee was away longer than six years, they will be treated as a new hire and prior service will not count towards eligibility.       

  • If an employee returns to a participating Y within six years, any previous 12-month periods wherein the employee completed 1,000 hours of service will count towards eligibility. See the Enrollment and Eligibility fact sheet for rules and examples.

If your Y requires employees make contributions to the Retirement Plan, then all employees enrolling in the Plan need to complete an Application to Participate in the YMCA Retirement Plan regardless of whether the employee previously worked for another Y.

Enrollment is mandatory for eligible employees, except in cases wherein an employee meets the criteria to waive participation and elects to do so. See Waiving Participation in the Retirement Plan under Eligibility.

If you have any doubt about a person’s eligibility, read the Enrollment and Eligibility fact sheet, or contact the Fund at info@ymcaret.org or 800-RET-YMCA.

EMPLOYEES WITH PREVIOUS Y SERVICE AND REHIRES

Full-time or Part-time

Employee Description Retirement Plan Participation

Employee who previously participated in the Retirement Plan and was vested

Participation resumes immediately, even if the participants took a withdrawal or is already receiving an annuity.

Employee who previously participated in the Retirement Plan but was not vested in employer contributions

If the employee returns to work within six years of termination, participation resumes immediately, even if they took a withdrawal or are already receiving an annuity.

If the employee returns to work six years after termination, treat as if newly hired. They must meet the eligibility requirements again.

Employee who previously worked for a participating Y but never participated in the Retirement Plan

If the employee returns to work within six years of termination, contact the previous employing Y for starting employment date, termination date, and total hours worked. The Local Plan Administrator Lookup feature in the Tools/Resources section of YERDI will provide the contact information. Any previous 12-month period wherein the employee completed 1,000 hours of service will count towards eligibility.

If the employee returns to work after six years after termination, treat as if newly hired. They must meet eligibility requirements again.

Employee who worked for a non-participating Y 

Service acquired while working for a non-participating Y is not used to determine eligibility.

 

OTHER SPECIAL CASES
Employee Description Retirement Plan Participation

Employees already working for a Y that newly adopts the Plan (hired prior to the effective date of a Y's participation in the YMCA Retirement Fund)

OR

Employees of a Y which is acquired by or merged into a participating Y

The Y must treat the previous service of these employees as service for determining eligibility, and all eligible employees must be enrolled as a condition of employment.

Employees of a Y that discontinues participating in the Plan, and later rejoins

The Y must treat service during the period of the Y's non-participation as service for determining eligibility.

Employees of an organization (other than a Y) which is acquired by or merged into a participating Y

Previous service hours of the acquired employees will not count towards eligibility in the Retirement Plan. However, the Y can make a written request to the Benefits & Operations Committee of the Fund's Board of Trustees if it would like to count those service hours.

Leased Employees

Federal law and your Y's agreement with the YMCA Retirement Fund govern whether union or leased employees are included. Contact the Fund for special rules.

Retirees or Terminated Employees Who Return to Work

If a participant has retired or terminated Y employment and would like to work for a Y again, their rehire is entirely at the discretion of the employing Y. If they become employed by a Y after retirement or termination, they must again participate in the Retirement Plan based on their compensation at that time. If they are receiving a retirement annuity, their payments will continue.

However, a pre-arranged strategy to collect retirement benefits while still employed is prohibited. In addition, a participant who applies for a lump sum distribution upon his or her termination of Y employment may not have a prior arrangement with the Y employer to return to work following receipt of the distribution.

In order to avoid potential problems, it is recommended that the retiree or participant and the Y discuss specific situations with their legal counsels and secure written legal opinions prior to taking any action.

There are certain legitimate situations where an individual may become re-employed by a Y after he or she begins receiving their Fund annuity or has received a lump sum distribution.

Here are three examples of acceptable situations:

  1. Jerry retired as a branch executive director and began collecting his retirement benefit. Negotiations with his replacement fell through, and subsequently the board asked him to return as the branch executive in an interim capacity while a new search is undertaken.

  2. Mary retired as secretary of the membership department and began collecting her retirement benefit. After gardening and fixing up her home, she became bored, applied for and was accepted for a part-time position in the development office at another Y.

  3. George terminated his Y employment because he was relocating from his hometown to another state to be closer to his sister. He applied for and received a lump sum distribution from the Retirement Plan. Since George and his sister were not getting along, he moved back to his hometown, applied for and was accepted for another position at the Y.

Here are three examples of unacceptable situations:

  1. A very difficult personal situation necessitated that Brad find a way to add to his household income. Accordingly, he arranged with his supervisor that he would retire, begin collecting his retirement benefit then be rehired to his existing job.

  2. Lucy was all set to retire as the CEO, but the board had not yet found her replacement. The board asked her to stay on for three extra months while they extended their search. She agreed, with the understanding that she would continue earning her salary and also start her retirement annuity.

  3. Because Robin needed money to pay off her bills, she arranged with her supervisor that she would terminate employment, take a distribution from the Fund then be rehired to her existing job.

Read more details here.