How The Fund Works


An outline of your withdrawal options while working
for the Y and after you leave the Y.

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While you are working for the Y

Your After-Tax Account and Rollover Account may be withdrawn at any time. If you are age 59½ or older, you can withdraw your entire 403(b) Smart Account. However, until you reach age 59½, you may only withdraw your 403(b) Smart Account contributions if you meet the IRS requirements for a financial hardship withdrawal. No other accounts can be withdrawn while still working at a Y.


An employed participant who has made tax-deferred contributions to the 403(b) Smart Account may withdraw these contributions if they have a financial hardship.

Participants will no longer be required to take a loan from the Savings Plan before they can apply for a hardship withdrawal. However, they will be required to take a withdrawal of any other retirement, savings and welfare benefits sponsors by the Y including their Rollover Account and After-tax Account, if applicable, before being eligible for a hardship withdrawal.​

Participants will no longer be required to suspend contributions into the 403(b) Smart account for six months. They will be permitted to continue contributing to the 403(b) Smart Account when they take a hardship withdrawal. All participants who were subject to this suspension, will receive a letter from the Fund notifying them that they can restart contributions effective 1/1/2020.

Participants will no longer be required to submit supporting documentation of their hardship to the YMCA Retirement Fund. However, they will be required to certify that they have insufficient cash or other liquid assets to satisfy the financial need, meet the federal hardship requirements, agree to keep adequate supporting documentation of their financial needs, and provide such documentation to the Fund or IRS upon request.

The qualifying rules to take a hardship withdrawal have been modified to the following:

  • Medical Care: Expenses not covered by health insurance that were incurred or are expected to be incurred to obtain medical care for the participant, their spouse, tax dependents or their designated primary beneficiary under the Plan, and are deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d), without regard to whether the expenses exceed the applicable percentage of adjusted gross income in that section.

  • Purchase of Principal Residence: Costs directly related to the purchase of the participant’s principal residence, excluding mortgage payments.

  • Educational Expenses: Expenses of tuition, related educational fees, and room and board expenses, for up to the next twelve months of post-secondary education for the participant, his or her spouse, children, tax dependents or designated primary beneficiary under the Plan.

  • Eviction: Payment necessary to prevent the eviction of the participant from his or her principal residence or foreclosure on the mortgage on the participant’s principal residence.

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Expenses for the burial and funeral expenses for the participant’s deceased parent, spouse, children, tax dependents or designated primary beneficiary under the Plan.

  • Repairs for Damage to Principal Residence: Expenses for the repair of damage to the participant’s principal residence that would qualify for a casualty deduction under Internal Revenue Code Section 165 (determined without regard to whether the damage was a result of a federally declared disaster or the loss exceeds 10% of the participant’s gross income).

  • FEMA Declared Disaster Expense: Expenses incurred by a participant who, at the time of a FEMA-declared disaster, had a principal residence or principal place of employment located in an area designated by FEMA for individual assistance, and the expenses were result of that disaster.

When you leave the Y

If the total of your accounts in either the Retirement Plan or Savings Plan (including rollover accounts) is more than $5,000, you can keep your balances in that Plan until you are ready to start an annuity or take a distribution.

If either Plan has $5,000 or less, within 90 days of leaving you must take a withdrawal or roll it over to another qualified employer plan or IRA. If you do not notify the Retirement Fund of your choice to receive your distribution directly or to have it rolled-over to your IRA or eligible employee plan, after 90 days, the Fund will  automatically roll over your distribution to a Safe Harbor IRA at Millennium Trust Company. An exception is if you have more than $5,000 in the Retirement Plan but $5,000 or less in the Savings Plan. Then you may leave both Plans at the Fund.

Neither you nor the Y can make further contributions once you have left employment. However, if you leave your accounts at the Fund, they will continue to earn interest.

Once your Y has notified the Fund that you have left employment, you will receive a letter outlining your options.

If you have both of the following accounts, you can take a withdrawal based on your age and balance at the time you make the request:




55 or Older The combined sum of both accounts is $100,000 or less

If the above example is not applicable, you can take a withdrawal based on the following:



Under 55 $5,000 or less when you request the withdrawal
55 or Older $100,000 or less when you request the withdrawal


Any Age $25,000 or less at the time you terminated Y employment





Any Age Any balance 

If your account(s) does not qualify for a withdrawal, you can use the funds for an annuity as early as age 55.

Partial Withdrawals

You may take a partial withdrawal from your accounts in the Retirement Plan or Savings Plan if:

  • You are eligible to take a full withdrawal from that Plan (withdrawal rules for the YMCA Account and YMCA Account (Legacy) above may prohibit both a partial and full withdrawal from the Retirement Plan), and  

  • You have an available balance of $10,000 or more in that Plan, and

  • Your withdrawal does not result in that Plan’s available balance dropping to $5,000 or below.

Only one partial withdrawal per Plan is allowed in a three-month period, up to four partial withdrawals from the same Plan in a 12-month period. There is no cost for the first and second withdrawal, however a processing fee will be charged for the third and fourth withdrawal.

Taxes and Penalties
Unless you roll your money over to an IRA or eligible employer plan, it is subject to taxes and potential IRS penalties, The Fund is required to withhold 20% of the taxable portion of your withdrawal for federal income taxes. If you are under age 59½, the IRS may require an additional 10% penalty at the time you file year-end income taxes. Hardship withdrawals cannot be rolled over and, while they are subject to taxes, you are permitted to elect that the Fund not withhold a portion of the hardship withdrawal for taxes.

Getting Your Money
In order to take a hardship withdrawal, you will need to complete a form, which can be obtained by sending an email to Once the Fund receives your original form properly completed, it will take seven to ten business days to process your request (not including mailing time).

For non-hardship withdrawals, log in to Your Account to see whether you are eligible for a withdrawal and to start the process. If you are eligible, once you submit your request, the process will take seven to ten business days (not including mailing time).