Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your most common questions in one central location:

  • Beneficiaries

    • Why is it important to designate a beneficiary?

      Designating a beneficiary informs the Fund how to pay out death benefits. It is important that all Fund participants keep their beneficiary designations up-to-date so that their benefits are paid according to their wishes. If at any time there is a major change in a participant’s life, such as marriage, birth of a child, widowhood, or a divorce, they should review their beneficiary designation and make any necessary changes.

      To designate or update beneficiaries, a participant can either log in to their account and make the change online, or submit a Designation of Beneficiary form to the Fund.

      For any participant who dies before retirement on or after October 15, 2017, without designating a beneficiary, the pre-retirement benefit will be payable to the following, in order:

      a) the participant’s surviving spouse of at least one year, and if none, then to

      b) the participant’s living children in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      c) the participant’s estate.

      If anyone who is not an eligible spouse or a child of the participant wishes to collect the benefit, he or she will have to be the executor/administrator of the participant’s estate or, if eligible, use the small estate procedure of the decedent’s state.

      If a participant died before retirement, and prior to October 15, 2017 without designating a beneficiary, as long as they have been married one year or longer, his or her surviving spouse will automatically be entitled to 50% of the participant’s total account balance unless she/he decides to waive this benefit. (If a spouse of an active participant waived this benefit prior to the participant attaining age 35, a new waiver must be submitted to the Fund. Otherwise, the spouse will automatically be entitled to 50% of the total account balance.)

      The remaining pre-retirement benefit for a participant who died prior to October 15, 2017 will be payable to the following, in order:

      a) the participant’s estate, and if no estate is established or it is terminated before payment, then to

      b) the participant’s children in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      c) the participant’s parents in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      d) the participant’s siblings in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      e) the participant’s nieces and nephews in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      f) the participant’s nearest living next-of-kin, and if there are more than one with the same degree of relationship to the participant, then to each of them in equal shares.

    • What happens if a retiree does not designate a beneficiary?

      If a retiree dies without designating a beneficiary, or if the beneficiary the retiree named predeceased the retiree and the retiree did not submit a new Designation of Beneficiary for the Retired Death Benefit form to designate another, the retiree’s Retired Death Benefit will be payable to the following, in order:

      If the retiree dies on or after October 15, 2017:

      a) the retiree’s surviving spouse of at least one year, and if none, then to

      b) the retiree’s living children in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      c) the retiree’s estate.

      If the retiree died prior to October 15, 2017:

      a) the retiree’s estate, and if no estate is established or it is terminated before payment, then to

      b) the retiree’s children in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      c) the retiree’s parents in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      d) the retiree’s siblings in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      e) the retiree’s nieces and nephews in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      f) the retiree’s nearest living next-of-kin, and if there are more than one with the same degree of relationship to the retiree, then to each of them in equal shares.

    • How does a participant change their beneficiary?

      Participants can change their beneficiary at any time. Those who have not yet started their annuity can designate and update their beneficiaries online.

      They may also designate their beneficiaries by submitting the proper form to the Fund. The form they use depends on whether or not they still work for the Y. The Designation of Beneficiary—for current Y Employees must be either notarized or signed by HR. The Designation of Beneficiary—for former Y Employees must be notarized.

      For participants who have already started their annuity, the Designation of Beneficiary for the Retired Death Benefit must be notarized and mailed in. (Contact the Fund if an annuity has been started under the Principal Guarantee Annuity Option.)

      NOTE: Federal law imposes strict rules for married employees designating beneficiaries other than their spouses. The employee must have notarized consent from their spouse if the spouse is not the only beneficiary.

    • Who can be named as a beneficiary?

      Anyone or any entity can be named as a beneficiary. Generally, all people named as beneficiaries get the same choices regarding benefits. However, since estates, trusts, Ys and other organizations do not have a life expectancy, they may only take a withdrawal and are not entitled to an annuity.

      Married participants need notarized consent from their spouse if they do not name their spouse as their only primary beneficiary.

    • If the primary beneficiary predeceases the participant, who will receive the death benefit?

      If a participant’s primary beneficiary(ies) predecease(s) them and they do not designate another, their benefits are paid based on how they designated contingent beneficiaries. If the participant did not name any contingent beneficiaries, benefits will be paid to the estate or next of kin. In general, each beneficiary will make a decision to take a withdrawal or an annuity (if amount is $5,000+).

    • If a participant has accounts in the Retirement Plan and Saving Plan, can they designate different beneficiaries for each plan?

      Before retirement, a participant’s beneficiary designation will apply to both plans.

      At retirement, they have the option to separately annuitize the plans. A beneficiary designation is necessary for the plan that is left at the Fund. If the Savings Plan is left at the Fund and the Retirement Plan is annuitized, they can designate beneficiaries for the Savings Plan and select separate beneficiaries for the Retirement Plan’s Retired Death Benefit.

      Also, if they decide to annuitize the plans separately, they may designate different survivors (if they select the Joint & Survivor Annuity options) for each plan.

  • Benefits

    • What are the benefits of the Fund?

      The Fund’s benefits are:

      • Opportunities for tax-deferred savings for retirement
      • Retirement income for participants and their beneficiaries (see annuity)
      • Income for participants who are permanently and totally disabled
      • Death benefits for beneficiaries of active and retired participants
    • What is the total and permanent disability benefit and how does one qualify for it?

      The Fund offers retirement benefits to Y employees who become permanently and totally disabled. That means if an individual is incapable of working for a living, and their condition is not expected to improve, they may be eligible to receive an annuity from the Fund. To qualify for this benefit, the employee must:

      • be under age 60
      • have had at least five full years of participation in the Retirement Plan
      • have become disabled while working for a participating Y
      • have not taken a withdrawal from their YMCA Account and Personal Account (for Ys that require employee contributions) since leaving a Y
      • apply for benefits within six months after terminating Y employment

      As the Fund’s total & permanent disability claims administrator, Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston reviews all applications and renders a decision on claims.

    • What happens if a participant dies while still working for a Y?

      Their beneficiary will receive the greater of $10,000 or the sum of the amounts in their Personal Account, YMCA Account (Legacy) and YMCA Account. Any voluntary accounts they have will be paid to their beneficiary as well. All benefits will be paid as either a withdrawal or an annuity.

  • Eligibility & Enrollment

    • Is enrollment in the Retirement Plan optional?

      No, individuals employed at Ys that participate in the Fund’s retirement plans must be enrolled in the Retirement Plan as soon as they are eligible, as a condition of employment, regardless of financial hardship. Only new employees hired for the first time by a Y after age 60, who are working for a Y that requires employees to make contributions, may elect to waive participation. These employees must complete a Waiver of Participation.

    • What if an employee moves from one Y to another, or works at multiple Ys?

      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).

    • What if an employee believes they have achieved eligibility, but the Y did not enroll them in the Retirement Plan?

      Participants should first approach the local plan administrator at their Y and ask them to recheck their eligibility calculations. Participants may also call the YMCA Retirement Fund. If the matter is not resolved to their satisfaction, they may make a written request for a review of the matter in accordance with the claims procedures for the Retirement Plan.

      Read more about the procedures.

  • How the Fund Works

    • What is a church pension plan?

      A church pension plan is a plan that serves the employees of an organization that is either a church or is associated with (and shares common religious bonds with) churches or associations of churches.

      On December 21, 2004, President George W. Bush signed a bill into law which clarified that plans of the YMCA Retirement Fund are church plans.

    • How is the YMCA Retirement Fund different from other retirement plans?

      As an administrator of church plans, the Fund can offer retirement income accounts, commingle assets for investment purposes and provide annuities without paying an insurance company.

      In addition, the Retirement Plan and the Savings Plan have a unique plan design. Unlike a typical 401(k) retirement account, retirement savings at the YMCA Retirement Fund are protected during stormy economic times as a result of this unique structure of the plans. Not once in the Fund’s 90-year history have account balances ever gone down.

    • Is the money in the Fund insured by the federal government?

      The YMCA Retirement Fund’s plans, like defined contribution plans, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc., are not insured by the government.

    • Is money saved in the Fund safe?

      Yes. The safety of the Fund is in its highly diversified portfolio, managed by professionals and a dedicated Board of Trustees. Not once in the history of the Fund have account balances ever gone down nor have annuity payments ever been missed. The Fund’s plans are designed in a way that minimizes the risk of investment loss to the participant.

    • What is ERISA and does the YMCA Retirement Plan follow the ERISA rules?

      The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) was passed to protect employee pensions in response to some spectacular company failures in the 1960’s, most notably the Studebaker automobile company. They had failed to put aside sufficient money to pay pensions if they went out of business and, when they did, all their retirees lost their pensions.

      This federal law requires certain standards for participation, enrollment, vesting and benefit payments. It also requires that the people who manage a pension plan (fiduciaries) meet certain standards.

      The law generally classifies pension plans into three groups: company plans, government plans and church plans. There are different rules for each of these. It also classifies plans as defined benefit (formula) or defined contribution (individual account). Plans created before ERISA was enacted may not fall clearly into one of these categories.

      Although church pension plans are not subject to ERISA, the YMCA Retirement Plan elected to become subject to ERISA in connection with the 2004 legislation confirming its status as a church pension plan.

    • Who reviews the Fund's operation?

      The Fund’s financial statements are audited annually by an independent CPA firm. The Fund reports to the New York State Department of Financial Services, viewed by many as the toughest state insurance department in the country. The Fund also reports to the IRS and the Department of Labor.

    • Is enrollment in the Retirement Plan optional?

      No, individuals employed at Ys that participate in the Fund’s retirement plans must be enrolled in the Retirement Plan as soon as they are eligible, as a condition of employment, regardless of financial hardship. Only new employees hired for the first time by a Y after age 60, who are working for a Y that requires employees to make contributions, may elect to waive participation. These employees must complete a Waiver of Participation.

  • Life Changes

    • Why is it important to designate a beneficiary?

      Designating a beneficiary informs the Fund how to pay out death benefits. It is important that all Fund participants keep their beneficiary designations up-to-date so that their benefits are paid according to their wishes. If at any time there is a major change in a participant’s life, such as marriage, birth of a child, widowhood, or a divorce, they should review their beneficiary designation and make any necessary changes.

      To designate or update beneficiaries, a participant can either log in to their account and make the change online, or submit a Designation of Beneficiary form to the Fund.

      For any participant who dies before retirement on or after October 15, 2017, without designating a beneficiary, the pre-retirement benefit will be payable to the following, in order:

      a) the participant’s surviving spouse of at least one year, and if none, then to

      b) the participant’s living children in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      c) the participant’s estate.

      If anyone who is not an eligible spouse or a child of the participant wishes to collect the benefit, he or she will have to be the executor/administrator of the participant’s estate or, if eligible, use the small estate procedure of the decedent’s state.

      If a participant died before retirement, and prior to October 15, 2017 without designating a beneficiary, as long as they have been married one year or longer, his or her surviving spouse will automatically be entitled to 50% of the participant’s total account balance unless she/he decides to waive this benefit. (If a spouse of an active participant waived this benefit prior to the participant attaining age 35, a new waiver must be submitted to the Fund. Otherwise, the spouse will automatically be entitled to 50% of the total account balance.)

      The remaining pre-retirement benefit for a participant who died prior to October 15, 2017 will be payable to the following, in order:

      a) the participant’s estate, and if no estate is established or it is terminated before payment, then to

      b) the participant’s children in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      c) the participant’s parents in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      d) the participant’s siblings in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      e) the participant’s nieces and nephews in equal shares, and if none survive the participant, then to

      f) the participant’s nearest living next-of-kin, and if there are more than one with the same degree of relationship to the participant, then to each of them in equal shares.

    • What happens if a retiree does not designate a beneficiary?

      If a retiree dies without designating a beneficiary, or if the beneficiary the retiree named predeceased the retiree and the retiree did not submit a new Designation of Beneficiary for the Retired Death Benefit form to designate another, the retiree’s Retired Death Benefit will be payable to the following, in order:

      If the retiree dies on or after October 15, 2017:

      a) the retiree’s surviving spouse of at least one year, and if none, then to

      b) the retiree’s living children in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      c) the retiree’s estate.

      If the retiree died prior to October 15, 2017:

      a) the retiree’s estate, and if no estate is established or it is terminated before payment, then to

      b) the retiree’s children in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      c) the retiree’s parents in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      d) the retiree’s siblings in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      e) the retiree’s nieces and nephews in equal shares, and if none survive the retiree, then to

      f) the retiree’s nearest living next-of-kin, and if there are more than one with the same degree of relationship to the retiree, then to each of them in equal shares.

    • How does a participant change their beneficiary?

      Participants can change their beneficiary at any time. Those who have not yet started their annuity can designate and update their beneficiaries online.

      They may also designate their beneficiaries by submitting the proper form to the Fund. The form they use depends on whether or not they still work for the Y. The Designation of Beneficiary—for current Y Employees must be either notarized or signed by HR. The Designation of Beneficiary—for former Y Employees must be notarized.

      For participants who have already started their annuity, the Designation of Beneficiary for the Retired Death Benefit must be notarized and mailed in. (Contact the Fund if an annuity has been started under the Principal Guarantee Annuity Option.)

      NOTE: Federal law imposes strict rules for married employees designating beneficiaries other than their spouses. The employee must have notarized consent from their spouse if the spouse is not the only beneficiary.

    • What if an employee moves from one Y to another, or works at multiple Ys?

      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).

    • What is the process for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)?

      A QDRO is a court order that relates to the provision of marital property rights, alimony payments or child support for the benefit of a former spouse, child, or other dependent of the participant.

      Usually the participant and their former spouse negotiate what part, if any, of the participant’s retirement accounts will be set aside for the former spouse. One of their lawyers will prepare a QDRO and submit it to the divorce court. See the standard procedures and suggested wording. Once approved, the lawyer sends a certified copy to the Fund. The Fund will also look over the participant’s draft QDROs to let them know if all requirements are met before they submit it to the court. For more information, please call the Fund’s Legal Department at 800-738-9622.

      The Fund reviews the QDRO to see that it meets the requirements of both federal pension law and the Retirement Plan. If it does, both the participant and their former spouse are notified as soon as administratively reasonable. The former spouse will then receive a letter indicating the options available (withdrawal, rollovers, and annuity). If the QDRO does not meet the requirements, the QDRO is returned for corrections and a hold is placed on the participant’s accounts, which means the participant will not be able to take a withdrawal or begin an annuity. This hold on their accounts will be in effect until the Fund receives a correct QDRO or for 18 months, whichever is less.

    • What options does an Alternate Payee have upon being granted an account at the Fund due to a QDRO?

      Alternate payees may take an immediate lump sum or rollover of their accounts, regardless of age or account balances. Any amount withdrawn and not rolled over will incur a mandatory 20% income tax withholding from the taxable portion.

      Alternate payees who are granted an amount of more than $5,000 in one or both of the Plans (Retirement and/or Savings Plan) may leave their balances with the Fund to gain interest until they decide to withdraw them or start a monthly annuity. They may start an annuity once their former spouse (the original participant) turns age 55, or any time thereafter. Per federal law, they may not designate their new spouse as their survivor for a Joint & Survivor annuity.

      Alternate payees who receive $5,000 or less in one of the Plans (Retirement or Savings) must take a lump sum withdrawal or rollover. They may not take an annuity or leave their accounts with the Fund. An exception is for those with more than $5,000 in the Retirement Plan and $5,000 or less in the Savings Plan. As long as they leave their Retirement Plan with the Fund to gain interest, they may leave the Savings Plan as well, even if it contains $5,000 or less.

      If the former spouse (original participant) has already annuitized his/her account (is receiving a monthly payment), the alternate payee will receive a portion of this monthly payment. The Alternate Payee will have no lump sum or rollover option and will have no balances to leave at the Fund to gain interest. The amount and other terms of the monthly payment, including start and stop dates, are all determined by the QDRO.

  • Login Assistance

    • What software do I need to access the YMCA Retirement Fund website?

      Supported Browsers

      Microsoft® Edge

      Download Microsoft Edge

      Mozilla Firefox

      Download Mozilla Firefox

      Google® Chrome

      Download Google Chrome

      Safari – Apple

      Download Safari – Apple

      Supported Mobile Devices

      iPhone/iPad – Apple iOS 10 or higher

      Android 8 or higher

      PDF Viewer

      A PDF viewer is needed to view/print/download most forms on this site. If you do not have a PDF viewer, you can download a free copy of Adobe Reader – Download Adobe Reader

    • When am I eligible to log in to my account?

      • You can log in to your account if you are enrolled in either Retirement Plan and/or the Savings Plan and have a balance in an account at the YMCA Retirement Fund (regardless of your employment status).
      • For assistance with online account issues, please watch our video: How to Create an Online Account.
    • How do I create an online account?

       

      • Note the following while choosing a username and password:

       

      Creating a username:

      • Step 1 – Enter your Social Security Number (no spaces or hyphens; only digits).
      • Step 2 – Create a username to personalize your login.
        6-15 characters in length; numbers and letters with NO SPACES.
      • Step 3 – Create a password.
        8-12 characters in length; must include one capital letter and one number.
      • Step 4 – Create login reminder question and answer.
        The login reminder question allows you to gain access to your account if you forget your username and/or password. Choose one question from the drop down menu.
      • Step 5 – Enter your date of birth. (MM/DD/YYYY format)
      • Step 6 – Enter your email address.
      • Final Step – Check the Registration button and log in to your online account.

      Please Note:  For your protection this information should not be shared with anyone, and should be changed frequently for your security.

    • I forgot my password; how do I reset it?

      Click here to reset your password.

    • I forgot my username; how do I reset it?

      Click here to reset your username.

    • How do I change my username and/or password?

      • Log in to your account, and click on the Change Your Log In Information link on the Features menu.
      • Update the Change Your Log In Information form to change your username, password, security question, and answer.

       

    • I cannot remember my security answer; how do I retrieve it?

      To change your Security Answer, log in to your account and from the right-hand menu, choose Change Your Log In Information.

    • I received a notice that I have no security answer setup on my account; how can I set one up?

      To change/update your security answer, log in to your account, and from the right-hand menu, choose Change Your Log In Information.

    • I did not receive the temporary password in my email; how can I access my online account?

      If you have not received the temporary password, please call our Customer Service Department at 800-738-9622, Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.

    • I tried the temporary password and it is not working; how can I access my online account?

      If you have tried the temporary password and it is not working, please call our Customer Service Department at 800-738-9622, Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.

  • Retirement

    • Are annuities guaranteed?

      The YMCA Retirement Fund can state with the greatest certainty that every retiree and beneficiary will get every penny of the retirement annuity promised to them.

      Our actuary reviews and monitors the Plan each year to determine the amount of reserves required to pay all future benefits. The assets of the Fund are invested and closely monitored by Fund management and Trustees in order to provide the highest level of return while protecting the value of the assets.

    • If a participant stops working for the Y, is it possible to postpone the start of annuity payments?

      Yes. As long as the participant is at least age 55 and no longer working for the Y, they can choose to begin their lifetime annuity at any time, regardless of how long they have been away from the Y. However, participants must either start their annuities or take a withdrawal by April 1 of the calendar year after the calendar year in which they reach age 70½ or, if they turn age 70 on July 1, 2019, or later, by April 1 of the calendar year after the calendar year in which they reach age 72.

    • Can a retiree who is receiving an annuity from the Fund, or who has received a lump-sum distribution, return to work at a Y?

      There are certain legitimate situations where an individual may become re-employed by a Y after he or she begins receiving a lifetime annuity or has taken a lump-sum distribution from the Fund. Whether they are hired by any Y in the future is entirely at the discretion of the employing Y. In order to avoid potential problems, it is recommended that the retiree and Y discuss specific situations with their legal counsels and secure written legal opinions prior to taking any action.

      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 for six months, she became bored and 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. Six months later, George and his sister were not getting along so he moved back to his hometown and 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 finds a way to add to his household income. Accordingly, he arranged with his supervisor that he would retire, begin collecting his retirement benefit, and 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, and then be rehired to her existing job.
  • Saving

    • Can a participant contribute money that is not from their Y paycheck?

      The only way this can be done is if a participant rolls over money from an eligible pension account.

    • Are there limits on the amounts a participant can save for retirement?

      The federal government sets limits on the total amount of retirement contributions an employee and their employer can make each year, and on the amounts someone can contribute annually to their 403(b) Smart Account.

  • Withdrawals

    • What is the processing time for a withdrawal, rollover, or loan?

      The processing time for a withdrawal, rollover or loan is at least 30 business days, assuming that all required paperwork is received on time and in good order.

    • What is a Qualified Hardship Withdrawal?

      Before a participant qualifies for a hardship withdrawal, the participant must take a withdrawal of any After-Tax or Rollover accounts they may have with the Fund. The participant must also use the loan available through the Savings Plan. By taking a hardship withdrawal, a participant does not avoid paying taxes on the withdrawal.

      The Fund requires proof of hardship. The law defines a financial hardship as:

      • Medical expenses incurred or expected to incur or to obtain medical care not covered by health insurance for themselves or for their dependents.
      • Costs directly related to the purchase of a primary residence (excluding mortgage payments),
      • Tuition payments for the next 12 months of college or post-secondary school for themselves or for their dependents.
      • Payments to prevent eviction from or foreclosure upon their primary residence.
      • Payments for burial or funeral expenses for their deceased spouse, parent, child, or dependent.
      • Expenses for the repair of damage to their primary residence that qualify for a casualty deduction under IRC Section 165.
    • Where can I learn the status of my withdrawal?

      To obtain the status of your withdrawal request, please call our Customer Service Department at 800-738-9622, Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST

    • What is Spousal Consent and why do I need it?

      With each transaction, a consent form is completed by the spouse of the married YMCA Retirement Fund account holder if all or a portion of benefits that would have normally been earmark as a survivor benefit but are not included in the remaining balance are to be paid in the form of a qualified Joint & Survivor annuity benefit.

    • I just left the YMCA; when can I have access to my money?

      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. This exception does not apply if you are age 70½ or older in the year you leave the Y. Then you must withdraw your balance of $5,000 or less in full.

      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. Learn more about withdrawals here.

    • I am in the process of purchasing a home; can I withdraw from my account(s) to help pay for closing costs or the down payment?

      You can borrow from your accounts in the Savings Plan—the 403(b) Smart Account and the Rollover Account. The maximum amount you may borrow is 50% of your total account balances in the Savings Plan or $50,000, whichever is less. The minimum amount you can borrow is $1,000.

      Only one loan can be taken at a time. Once a loan is paid off, you can take a new loan. For a full list of rules, see our page on Loans.