Membership in the Annuity Plan is open to anyone working for a UCC employer. The Annuity Plan is a defined contribution plan as described in section 403(b)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The General Synod of the United Church of Christ recommends that 14% of salary basis be contributed by the employer. For lay employees, a minimum of 3% is recommended. This amount, over a full career, along with Social Security, is estimated to provide an income in retirement that is sufficient to sustain a member’s standard of living.
Contributions to your Annuity Plan account may be invested in any of the nine available investment funds (or in a combination of the funds):
Each Fund is professionally managed with lower fees than most mutual funds. The earlier you participate, the more time your account has to grow. Early enrollment is therefore important.
You can supplement your employer's contributions and defer taxes by making personal contributions to a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA). For more information please click here.
You also have the opportunity to consolidate other IRA, 403(b), 401(k) or other pre-tax accounts into a Rollover Contribution Account for non-annuitized employees or a Retirement Savings Account for annuitized employees or retirees. For more information on the Rollover Contribution Account (RCA) click here. For more information on the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) click here.
If you wish to begin participation in the Annuity Plan, click here for an Annuity Plan Membership and Other Benefits application. If you wish to make personal contributions, you will be required to complete a TSA Salary Reduction Agreement form along with your Annuity Plan application. Click here for a Employee Retirement Contribution Agreement Form.
A member may designate any person or persons (including a trust or other entity), as beneficiary to whom the Pension Boards will pay the member's annuity account in the event of the member’s death. The designation of beneficiary must be supplied to the Pension Boards. Marriage revokes any previous beneficiary designation. If no spouse or primary beneficiary(ies), survive you, payment will be made to your estate. If you designate a minor as a beneficiary, generally a probate court would have to appoint a guardian to receive and administer the benefits to the minor at your death. You may prefer to provide for a minor by naming a trust established in your will (a "testamentary trust") as your beneficiary. If you wish to complete a Beneficiary Designation form, click here.
The normal retirement age of members of the Annuity Plan for the UCC is 65, but retirement and benefits may begin either before or after that age, as explained below. Retirement effective dates are always the first day of the month. The later you begin to receive annuity payments, the larger they will be. If you die at any time before annuity payments begin, your full accumulation is payable to the beneficiary you have named, generally as a monthly annuity, if your beneficiary is your spouse or another dependent.
For more information, click here to see the booklet, The Path to Retirement.
If a member reaches age 72 and is not working for a UCC employer, Conference, Association or National Staff, he/she is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take an RMD from the Annuity Plan for the current year no later than April of the following year. All RMDs are subject to a 10% Federal income tax withholding.
Click here for a copy of the Annuity Plan for the UCC plan document.
Note: If you are employed by an employer other than a UCC church, Conference, Association or National Staff, contact us for the appropriate plan document.