Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your most common questions

  • New Employee FAQ

    • 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 100-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.

    • 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.

    • 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
    • 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.

    • Can a former Y employee who took a withdrawal from the Fund return to work at a Y?

      It is inappropriate and not in the spirit of the existing law to engage in a pre-arranged strategy to collect retirement benefits while still employed. This is a violation of the Fund’s Retirement Plan rules as well as federal tax law.

      Whether a participant is 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 participant and Y discuss specific situations with their legal counsels and secure written legal options prior to taking any action.

      YMCA RETIREMENT PLAN DOCUMENT:

      Section 5.1 &”A Participant’s eligibility to receive benefits under the Retirement Plan… must be the first day of a month subsequent to the cessation of Compensation and the severance from YMCA employment.”

      Section 6.3 &”In no event shall any Participant who is employed by a Participating YMCA have the right to a withdrawal of his/her Accumulated Basic Participant Contributions or his/her YMCA Account Balance.”

      TREASURY REGULATIONS:

      Treasury Regulation Section 1.401(a)-1(b)(1)(i) &”In order for a pension plan to be a qualified plan under section 401(a), the plan must be established and maintained by an employer primarily to provide systematically for the payment of definitely determinable benefits to its employees over a period of years, usually for life, after retirement or attainment of normal retirement age.”

      IRS Rev. Rul. 74-254 &”Revenue Ruling 56-693, as modified by Rev. Rul. 60-323, holds that a pension plan fails to meet the requirements for qualification under section 401(a) of the Code if it permits employees to withdraw prior to normal retirement any part of the funds accumulated on their behalf, which consist of employer contributions or increments thereon prior to the severance of employment or the termination of the plan. Therefore, a pension plan does not qualify if it permits distributions prior to normal retirement and prior to termination of employment or termination of the plan.”

    • 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.

  • 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?

      • You can create an online account at yretirement.org/register
      • 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.