Pay Yourself First With the Fund’s Savings Plan!

The Fund’s 403(b) Savings Plan is available to all employees of a participating Y, regardless of age or hours worked, and is a smart way to start saving towards your retirement goals! Even if you are not yet eligible to be enrolled in the Fund’s 401(a) Retirement Plan, you may still begin building your retirement savings and a path to a lifetime of retirement income.

While working at the Y, you can contribute to the 403(b) Savings Plan in the Tax-Deferred Account, the Roth Account, or both. Contributions are made via payroll deduction and can be changed or stopped at anytime. You can also contribute as little or as much as your budget allows up to IRS and YMCA Retirement Fund limits. Visit the contribution limits page  to determine how much you can save in the 403(b) Savings Plan this year. 

To get started, complete this form and submit it to your Y’s Human Resources or payroll department. In addition to opening a 403(b) Savings Plan account, you can also use this form to change your contributions to an existing account.

Tax-Deferred Account vs. Roth Account: When Contributions are Taxed

Saving for retirement in the 403(b) Savings Plan can help put you on a path to achieving lifetime income in retirement. By having a choice to save pre-tax in the Tax-Deferred Account, after-tax in the Roth Account, or both, you have the flexibility to save in a way that works for your unique retirement goals.

Tax-Deferred Account

If you choose to save in the Tax-Deferred Account, you’ll have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on the amounts you contribute, but you do not have to pay federal income tax on your contributions, or on the account’s earnings, until you choose to convert your balance to a lifetime of retirement income or withdraw them from the Savings Plan.  In most cases, you can defer state and local taxes as well (state tax laws vary).

It is important to understand that you are postponing taxes, not eliminating them. Although there is no guarantee of what the tax rates will be in the future, some people may find that they are required to pay income tax at a lower rate after they retire.

Roth Account

The Roth Account is an after-tax retirement savings option. If you choose to contribute to the Roth Account, you will pay federal taxes, as well as applicable state and local taxes, on contributions now instead of in the future. You’ll also have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on the amounts you contribute. As a result, the Roth Account offers federal tax-free growth and federal 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. For more information and resources about Y Retirement’s Roth Account, click here.

Differences in Taxable Pay

Let’s look at an example of the difference in taxable pay when saving in the Tax-Deferred Account compared to the Roth Account. If your paycheck is $1,500, and you contribute $100 to the 403(b) Savings Plan, the amount of your income that is taxable by the federal government differs based on how you contribute to the Plan.

*Applies to federal income tax only.

Lifetime Income: Taxable vs. Non-Taxable

Now, let’s look at how an annuity payment from the 403(b) Savings Plan may be taxed in retirement. For example, if you have a gross monthly annuity payment of $1,000, the amount that you ultimately receive in your payment may differ based on how it was originally contributed.

Note: Example assumes same account balances in either account, and person is in a 20% tax bracket and payment is a qualified Roth distribution, for illustrative purposes only.


Whether you are a new employee or have been working at a participating Y for a while, you may roll over money from qualified plans into either a Rollover Account or a Roth Rollover Account. Learn more about rollovers.


While you are working for a participating Y, you can borrow (pro rata from all of your accounts) from the Savings Plan. Learn more about loans.