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Retirement and the UU Plan

Retirement Date

Gone are the days of normal retirement age (NRA) meaning 65 for everyone.  Now NRA is 65 or slightly later, depending on birthdate.

There is no mandatory retirement age for either Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministers or non-ordained employees.

Retirement Distributions

At retirement, a participant may elect to receive distributions as:

  • a partial or total lump sum distribution, sometimes with significant tax consequences; or
  • systematic payments over a specified time, or
  • systematic payments for a specified amount.

Minimum Required Distribution (MRD)

Federal law mandates that participants must begin to receive a Minimum Required Distribution (MRD) no later than the April 1 following the calendar year after becoming 70 ½ or retiring, whichever is later.

The distribution paperwork and the amount of a participant’s MRD is available from TIAA-CREF: (800) 842-2829.


Ordained ministers may receive part of their distributions after retirement as a tax-exempt clergy housing allowance. Therefore, it is generally considered to be uniquely advantageous for clergy of all denominations to maximize their retirement savings through their denominationally-sponsored plan. 

When submitting completed MRD paperwork to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for processing, retired clergypersons may indicate their request suppression of taxes on the distributed amount. Contact retirementplan [at] uua [dot] org for details.

For collegial and other important support, soon-to-retire and retired ministers are encouraged to connect with the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association (UURMaPA). The Association numbers more than 900 members in more than 600 households. They publish a quarterly newsletter, Elderberries, and a handbook that offers ideas for those thinking about retirement, and for those already enjoying it, too. UURMaPA has evolved to become an advocacy group for retirees; it also has created a Caring Network of more than forty volunteers, who stay in touch with members.

All Participants

Plan participants are fully vested, and in the event of death, the assets are paid to the participant’s beneficiary. Contact TIAA-CREF today to verify that your beneficiary designation is current.

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