All About Roth


A New Option to Save

A New Option to Save

The YMCA Retirement Fund’s 403(b) Savings Plan is an easy and accessible way for YMCA employees — like you! — to start saving for retirement. Beginning in 2024, you will have the option to save in a new Roth Account within the Savings Plan, in addition to the existing Tax-Deferred Account (formerly called the Smart Account). Adding the Roth Account option gives you the flexibility to save in a way that works best for your unique retirement goals.


*Must satisfy 5-calendar-year requirement and either be disabled or age 59½ or older.

What is the Roth Account?

What is the Roth Account?

  • Part of the 403(b) Savings Plan, the new Roth Account is an after-tax retirement savings option that any paid employee at a participating YMCA — regardless of length of time at the Y, age, hours worked, or total compensation — can enroll in.
  • If you choose to contribute to the Roth Account, you will pay federal taxes on contributions now instead of in the future. As a result, the Roth Account offers tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals or annuity in retirement, as long as you are age 59½ or older AND the account has been open for 5+ years*
  • The addition of the Roth Account option gives YMCA staff the flexibility to save in a way that works best for their unique retirement goals.

*Year 1 is the tax year when the first contribution is made, even if in December

Tax-Deferred Account vs. Roth Account

Tax-Deferred Account Vs. Roth Account

You can choose to save in either or both, and choosing which option can depend on several factors. One of the biggest differences between the Tax-Deferred Account and the Roth Account is when your contributions and earnings from interest credited to your Accounts will be taxed by the Federal Government, if at all.


Click here to learn more in this helpful document.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will contributions be made?
    Contributions will be made to the Roth Account via payroll deduction. You will also be able to change future contributions to the Roth Account at any time.
  • When can contributions to the Roth Account begin?
    The Fund will begin accepting contributions to the Roth Account on January 1, 2024. Check with your YMCA’s HR Department regarding the first eligible payroll period.
  • How much can I contribute?
    You can contribute an amount that works for your budget. There is no minimum, but there are YMCA Retirement Fund and IRS contribution limits. Click here to learn more about the current 2023 contribution limits. This information will be updated later this year when the IRS publishes the limits for 2024.
  • Are there any instances in which I must contribute to the Roth Account instead of to the Tax-Deferred Account?
    Yes, starting in 2024, if you choose to make Age 50+ catch-up contributions and your compensation from the Y was greater than $145,000 for the prior calendar year, your age 50 catch-up contributions must be made to the Roth Account. They cannot be made on a tax-deferred basis. (Pending formal IRS guidance and subject to change.)
  • How will contributions to the Roth Account grow with the Fund?
    Consistent with other account types, contributions to the Roth Account will receive the Interest Credit and Annuity Conversion Rates that are reviewed and established annually by the Board of Trustees.
  • When can I take a distribution from my Roth Account?
    You may take qualified distributions — free from federal taxation — from your Roth Account as long as your first contribution to the Roth Account was more than 5 calendar years earlier, and you’ve reached the age of 59½ or are disabled. Under the rules of the 403(b) Savings Plan, distributions can also be taken for reasons including termination of employment, disability, death, or financial hardship. Non-qualified distributions will be subject to federal taxes on the interest credited to your Roth Account if you’re under the age of 59½, or the Roth hasn’t satisfied the 5 calendar-year requirement and may be subject to an additional 10% excise tax (unless you satisfy an IRS exception).
  • Can I roll money in from past Roth plans?
    Yes, you’ll be able to make a direct rollover of your Roth account from an eligible employer plan to the Fund. This will be reflected in a separate Roth Rollover Account. That money will receive Interest Credits and can be turned into lifetime income in retirement after a certain period of time. A direct or indirect rollover from a Roth IRA or an indirect rollover from a Roth account in an employer-sponsored retirement plan will not be accepted.
  • Can I take a loan or a hardship withdrawal from my Roth Account?
    Yes, you will be able to take a loan or hardship withdrawal from your Roth Account while you are employed with the YMCA.
  • Can I convert my current Tax-Deferred or Rollover Account to a Roth Account?
    No. In-plan conversions will not be available.


Click on the links below to download helpful documents about the Roth Account. More resources and information about the Roth Account will be posted throughout the year as we get closer to the January 1, 2024 availability.