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Pension Fund of the Christian Church

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Employer-Sponsored Retirement Products

Overview

As a church plan, Pension Fund is able to offer flexible and worry-free retirement options for employers and their employees. Our team of Area Directors will meet with you to discuss your needs and help you get started.

Individual Savings & Retirement Products

Overview

Whether you’re just starting out or closer to retirement, choose from a variety of products to help you reach your retirement and savings goals.

Program Applicants

Ministerial Relief & Assistance

Our relief programs meet the evolving needs of new, active, and retired clergy and their families to ensure all ministers and lay workers can enjoy a strong, smart, secure retirement.

Supporters & Donors

Make An Impact with a Donation

Your gifts and financial support helps ministry workers in need bridge the unexpected from now until retirement (and beyond).

Resources

Overview

Discover planning and educational tools & resources to help you navigate your financial wellness journey.

Your Money Line

Pension Fund has partnered with Pete the Planner® to provide members with access to financial guides who will help answer your tough financial questions & online tools such as calculators and eLearning courses.

Tax-Deferred Retirement Account 403(b)/Roth 403(b)

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Flexible retirement savings that lets you choose.

The Tax-Deferred Retirement Account 403(b)/Roth 403(b), also known as the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b), is a defined contribution employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that allows eligible employees to set aside a portion of their compensation on a pre-tax basis and/or on a Roth (after-tax) basis to save for retirement. By contributing to a 403(b), participants are able choose a savings strategy that fits their plans for retirement based on how they want to be taxed, now or later.

Tax-Deferred Retirement Account 403(b)

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Who is eligible to participate?

All employees working for an organization affiliated with the Stone-Campbell (Restoration) Movement are eligible to participate in the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b). These organizations include but aren't limited to congregations, wider ministries, seminaries, universities and colleges associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and Churches of Christ in the United States.

One program, multiple benefits.

Advantages of the TDRA 403(b):

  • Contributions are made pre-tax.
  • Funds grow tax-free and taxes are deferred until distribution at retirement.
  • No income caps/limits and higher contribution limits than IRAs.
  • Allows rollovers from eligible third-party accounts.
  • May be used as an estate planning tool due to beneficiaries.
  • Competitive, guaranteed base rate of 3-6% with no downside market risk.
  • Value increases with Good Experience Credits, additional interest earnings awarded when excess reserves exist.

Good for employers who:

  • Want to lower taxable income for employees.
  • Are interested in offering an additional benefit incentive or employer contribution matching program for new or prospective employees.
  • Like the flexibility of a rollover-friendly, tax-deferred employer-sponsored plan.

Good for employees who:

  • Are looking to lower taxable income.
  • Want to defer taxes until retirement distribution.
  • Like taking advantage of employer contributions (as applicable).
  • Wish to declare a housing allowance in retirement.
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Advantages of the Roth 403(b):

  • Contributions made on an after-tax basis.
  • Because contributions are taxed now, funds grow and are distributed tax-free in retirement.
  • No income caps/limits and higher contribution limits than a Roth IRA.
  • Allows rollovers from eligible third-party accounts.
  • Estate planning tool (funds distributed tax-free to beneficiaries).
  • Competitive, guaranteed base rate of 3-6% with no downside market risk.
  • Value increases with Good Experience Credits, additional interest earnings awarded when excess reserves exist.

Good for employers who:

  • Want to allow employees to gift tax-free inheritance.
  • Are interested in offering an additional benefit incentive.
  • Like the flexibility of a rollover-friendly, tax-free-distribution employer-sponsored plan.

Good for employees who:

  • Don't qualify for a Roth IRA (due to income, etc.).
  • Are in a lower tax bracket now (I.e, ministers designating a large portion of income to housing allowance).
  • Want the benefit of long-term, tax-free growth.
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4%

is the current base interest rate for the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b)

How it Works

One of the major benefits of participating in our TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) product is that contributions are made pre-tax (TDRA 403(b)) which lowers taxable income, and/or using after-tax dollars (Roth 403(b)), which offers tax-free retirement income.

Contribution limits are higher than with other retirement accounts (like IRAs), and funds can be:

  • Grown tax-free until retirement distribution (TDRA 403(b))
  • Grown and distributed tax-free (Roth 403(b))

Participation in both plans allows for a diverse balance of pre-tax contributions/deferred taxes and after-tax contributions/tax-free distributions.

To participate: Employers may make contributions to the pre-tax TDRA 403(b) in addition to salary, and participants may make contributions through salary reduction to both the TDRA 403(b) and the Roth 403(b). In a participation agreement between your employer and Pension Fund, your employer will define eligibility requirements for organizational and employee participation in the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b). You or a representative for your employer may contact your regional Area Director to complete a participation agreement (view a map of Area Directors here).

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In addition to recurring contributions through your employer, the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) plan welcomes rollovers from eligible accounts. Those eligible can request to make a rollover contribution from retirement plans, including:

Pre-Tax TDRA 403(b):

  • Traditional IRA
  • Pre-tax 403(b) account
  • Pre-tax 401(k) account
  • Pre-tax 401(a) account
  • Pre-tax 457(b) account (governmental only)

Roth 403(b):

  • Roth 403(b) account
  • Roth 401(k) account
  • Roth 457(b) account (governmental only)

Like many retirement products, the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) requires that funds stay in the account until retirement. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, such as separating from employment, becoming disabled or encountering an eligible financial hardship (such as medical expenses, funeral expenses and natural disasters).

This product offers a competitive, guaranteed base interest rate of 3-6%, reducing your downside risk. Each account also qualifies for Good Experience Credits (additional interest earnings) when designated by Pension Fund’s Board of Directors.

These credits allow members to benefit directly from the upside of stronger markets (when underlying investments have performed well + minimum reserve requirements have been met). In combination with the TDRA’s base interest rate, Good Experience Credits may help you reach your retirement income goals faster.

TDRA 10-Year Historical Rates
* Base rate listed is the average of the quarterly base rates for the year. Good Experience Credits listed in the year it was received in accounts. Annualized return includes compounding. Data above represents historical data and may not be indicative of future performance.

Because participants can choose beneficiaries to receive the funds, the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) may be used as an estate planning tool to leave an inheritance.

By choosing beneficiaries, it is possible to save an inheritance for children or other heirs, above and beyond retirement needs within IRS guidelines for maximum contributions. Each participant (or their heirs) will ultimately receive the balance in the account. For the Roth 403(b), funds can be gifted to beneficiaries as an inheritance tax-free.

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What Our Members are Saying:

“I would suggest making monthly contributions to Pension Fund’s Tax-Deferred Retirement Account...Small amounts add up quickly!”

Rev. Sandra Gourdet (Indianapolis, IN)

“…The product that was most attractive [to us was] the TDRA because of the pre-tax nature, inheritability and being able to contribute as long as you’re working.”

Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO)

“Both [the Pension Plan and TDRA programs] are applicable to all ages of staff, from fresh out of college to close to retirement.”

Whitewater Crossing Christian Church (Cleves, OH)

We offered this plan because we wanted our staff to feel cared for and one day reap its benefits.”

Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (Memphis, TN)

FAQs

Good Experience Credits are additional interest earnings. Each year, the Pension Fund Board of Directors reviews reserves required for current and future benefits. When reserves exist above what is required, the Board of Directors may declare Good Experience Credits for all Tax-Deferred Retirement Account 403(b)/Roth 403(b) participants. Over time, these extra earnings can make a significant difference when saving for retirement.

Internal Revenue Code rules limit the total amount of contributions that may be contributed to the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) on a participant’s behalf by the employer. The limit on elective deferrals (what the participant chooses to contribute) is $20,500 as of 2022.

Additional elective contributions may be made when specific eligibility requirements are met under IRS guidelines for catch-up contributions. If you’re age 50 or older, you may contribute an additional $6,500 per year under the catch-up contributions.

For more information on catch-up provisions, call us at 866.495.7322 or email us at pfcc1@pensionfund.org with your questions.

The participant may request a distribution from the account at any time if the participant:

  • Separates from employment (rollover required)
  • Attains age 59½
  • Becomes disabled
  • Encounters financial hardship that qualifies under the plan (in the case of salary contribution agreement)

The TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) is subject to Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) after a member turns age 72. Distribution of accounts must begin no later than April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the participant turns age 72, unless he or she has not retired from qualified employment. Participants may elect to receive distributions from accounts in any form of payment option offered by the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) including moving funds into a Benefit Accumulation Account.

Pension Fund welcomes rollovers from eligible participants. Those eligible can request to make a rollover contribution to the TDRA 403(b)/Roth 403(b) in the form of a distribution from an eligible retirement plan, including:

Pre-Tax TDRA 403(b):

  • Traditional IRA
  • Pre-tax 403(b) account
  • Pre-tax 401(k) account
  • Pre-tax 401(a) account
  • Pre-tax 457(b) account (governmental only)

Roth 403(b):

  • Roth 403(b) account
  • Roth 401(k) account
  • Roth 457(b) account (governmental only)

View more FAQs on our General FAQs page.

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In need of help?

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How does our TDRA compare to other products?

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Brochures & Member Resource Books

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