Your Exclusive Y Benefit: A Lifetime of Retirement Income

When you work at the Y, you can retire starting at age 55. 

Retiring comfortably is a goal shared by most. As you approach retirement, you are likely wondering whether you have saved enough money or simply how to get started on your journey to retirement. The Fund is committed to guide you through the process, as well as educate you about the true value of retirement income that you cannot outlive.

As a reward for your YMCA service, the Fund offers the exceptional benefit of secure income for life. Understanding your retirement options can be difficult to understand, which is why we have described your benefit options plainly.

We realize that your choices for retirement income can seem difficult to understand, which is why we have created the glossary chart below that describes our options plainly. We believe reducing the complexity in language and information available to you will help you make better decisions about your retirement options, leading to better outcomes in your retirement planning.

Budget Planning for Retirement

When you’re ready to retire, it’s important to understand your retirement needs and what income you will be receiving. An overall picture of expected expenses and income can help you make better decisions throughout your retirement planning.

First, determine how much money you will need each year in retirement for fixed expenses like food and shelter. Next, calculate how much yearly income you will get from Social Security and any other pensions outside of your YMCA Retirement Fund account.

Upon retirement, you have the following options with the Fund:

  • Convert your entire Plan balance(s) that are at a minimum of $5k to a stream of monthly retirement income for life. You can log in to use our Lifetime Income Tracker to estimate what a monthly income payment could look like in retirement by combining current account information with Plan provisions.
  • Convert just one of your Plans to monthly retirement income and keep the remaining Plan with the Fund
    • There are several ways to allocate the remaining balance at a later date:
      • As one lump-sum withdrawal
      • As required minimum distributions that start at age 72 (age 73 if you were born in 1951 or later)
      • As money left to your heirs
Step-By-Step Actions Required

Below are the steps you should follow when you are 6 months from planned retirement:

  1. Contact the Fund at 800-RET-YMCA (800-738-9622) to request a retirement packet that will include a retirement income estimate and retirement application.
  2. Your application must be received by the Fund and be in good order no later than the last day of the month prior to your chosen retirement date.
  3. If you have an outstanding loan, you will need to pay it off prior to starting your retirement income benefit, or your monthly payments will be reduced. When your YMCA deactivates your Retirement account, the Fund will mail you a letter instructing you on how to pay off your loan balance.
  4. Ask the Y’s human resource associate questions about the timing of (1) your last pay date, (2) their deactivation of your retirement account status, and (3) the final contribution payment to your retirement account.
  5. You must select a retirement date that is after your last pay date. If your last pay date occurs on or after your selected date, then your retirement date will be moved to the following month. For example, if your last pay date is August 1st and you elected August 1st as your annuity start date, your annuity effective date will be moved to September 1st. Your YMCA must remit the final contributions to your retirement account, based upon your final wages, by the second week of the month that you wish to start receiving your monthly payments. If not, you will be required to push your effective start date to the first of the following month and you will have to complete another retirement application, in its entirety.

Note: The start date of your monthly income payment may be delayed if your retirement application, employment status, and/or final paycheck payment is not received on time. Please speak with your Local Plan Administrator regarding your last payment to the Fund.

Taxes in Retirement

Your state may have different tax rules that affect your retirement plan accounts.  As a general rule, the following tax information applies to the Fund’s Retirement Plans:

  • If you contributed to the 403(b) Savings Plan on a pre-tax basis or the Y has made contributions to your 401(a) Retirement Plan account, the distributions are taxable.
  • If you contributed any after-tax contributions to your 401(a) Retirement Plan account, only the interest earnings are taxable.
  • If you contributed to the 403(b) Savings Plan on an after-tax basis to the Roth Account or Roth Rollover Account, the distributions are not taxable if you are age 59 ½ and the account(s) satisfy the 5-calendar-year requirement.

Our Pension Representatives are available to help you understand which of your account balances are taxable.

It is important to note that a portion of your Social Security benefits may be treated as taxable income.  Due to the many tax implications associated with retirement plan distributions and Social Security benefits, you should consult with a tax advisor or other professional regarding your unique situation.

Learn more about Retirement and Social Security.

Your Annuity Application Makes It Official

You cannot receive your retirement benefits without filing an annuity application, available only by calling our Pension Representatives.

Please mail applications and required documentation to:

YMCA Retirement Fund
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271

Your application must be on file with our Customer Service Department at least one month prior to your chosen retirement date, but no more than six months.

The Annuity Application Kit includes:

  • Your Annuity Estimate
  • Your Statement of Current Balances
  • An Annuity Application form, so you can choose how you want your monthly income payments paid based on the information in your estimate and add a beneficiary if needed
  • A Direct Deposit Enrollment form to have your benefit payment automatically deposited into your checking or savings account
  • A Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments form (W-4P), so you can choose the amount of federal taxes you want to be withheld from your benefit each month
  • A Guide to Leaving and Retiring, and
  • An Understanding Your Options Guide

When we receive your annuity application, it will be reviewed and we will contact you if additional information is needed to complete the process or we will send you a confirmation letter.

Please note: we cannot send your first payment until we have proof of your date of birth. A clear copy of your driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or naturalization papers are acceptable proofs. If you didn’t have proof of date of birth available when you submitted your annuity application, you can fax it to us at 646-458-2550.

If You Change Your Mind About Starting Your Retirement Benefits

Unexpected life changes may occur after you submit your application. If you change your mind, you will need to send a written request of cancellation to the Fund prior to receiving the first retirement payment.  However, after your first payment is cashed or electronically deposited, no changes may be made and your retirement income is irrevocable. Please contact our Customer Service Department for a withdrawal request form.

If You Die Prior To Receiving Your First Retirement Payment

If you die before your first payment is received, your retirement benefit will not be enforced and your account will be settled as though you had not made an application to begin your retirement income.

The current full value of your account balances including interest will be payable to your beneficiary under any of the payment options elected by the beneficiary as allowed by the terms of the Plans, subject to the IRS required minimum distribution rules.

You’ve Submitted All Required Paperwork & Documentation

Congratulations, you have successfully filed for retirement!  Now you’re looking forward to your first monthly retirement income payment and the journey ahead.  Here’s what to expect next:

After you file for retirement, we will send you an acknowledgment letter that will outline your retirement date, retirement option, and the anticipated week that your first payment will be mailed.  Note that you will be paid retroactively to the first of the month.

Typically, your first retirement income check is mailed and generally received by the middle of the month. If you have elected direct deposit, all subsequent payments will be deposited to your account by the first business day of each month (check your bank for closings as it may delay when your payment is posted to your bank account).

It’s time to begin your new chapter and start living out your retirement dreams – you’ve earned it! The Fund is with you every step of the way to ensure you are making the most of your retirement. Stay in touch by visiting our Retirees section of our website for the latest Fund news.

Have any questions? We’re Here to Help You!

Contact the Customer Service Department via Live Chat or call us directly at 800-RET-YMCA (800-738-9622), Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm ET.