Contributions to the Retirement Plan

Annual Limits Effective January 1, 2022

Read and use the Employee Contributions Agreement (PDF) to document employees' decision to start, stop, or decline to make elective contributions. Some refer to the document as a salary reduction form.

  • Elective Deferral Limit (a.k.a. 402(g) limit) $20,500 ($19,500 in 2021)
  • Age fifty Catch-Up contribution limit $6,500 (same as 2021)
  • 415(c) defined contribution maximum (employer + employee under age 50) $61,000 ($58,000 in 2021)
  • 415(c) defined contribution maximum (employer + employee age 50 or older) $67,500 ($64,500 in 2021)

REMEMBER: E​​lective Deferrals must not exceed 100% of the employee's taxable income.

Clergy Housing Allowance (CHA) dollars are already a non-taxable benefit and cannot simultaneously be deferred as Elective contributions.

Contribution Basics

UU Employers who offer the Plan are responsible for:

  • immediately informing all W-2 employees about the Plan, including descriptions of contribution types and eligibility, IRS-imposed limits, the Employer's Retirement and Matching Contribution commitments, etc.
  • upholding their Employer responsibilities, in such a time as this
  • calculating and remitting all contributions timely and properly to the Plan's Recordkeeper, TIAA.
  • making the determination of eligibility-for-employer's-contributions properly, timely, and according to the governing Plan's provisions.
  • retaining and operationalizing employees' Elective Contribution Agreements.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: No one invoices the Employer.

UU Employers typically assign accountability for remitting to either their church office administrator or Treasurer.

Employers are to notify of that person's full name, title, and contact information, along with context: that they have been appointed to be accountable for proper and timely remittance of data and funds. UUA staff then provide Admin Access to TIAA's administrative portal, PlanFocus, and issue an Admin Help Sheet, Remittance information, Admin Guide, and contact information for the TIAA Client Services Manager (CSM) who supports logistics of a successful contribution remittance process.

Each Employer has their own Employer Participation Agreement on file with UUA. Refer to your specific Employer's Agreement to find the Employer's Retirement Contribution percentage, any commitment regarding Employer's Matching Contribution, and other key commitments.

Types of Contributions

Elective Contributions

All W-2 employees, age 18 and up, of UU Employers that have adopted the Plan are eligible to enroll and authorize Elective contributions. Low and moderate income earners may qualify for the Saver's Tax Credit, garnering a credit of up to one thousand dollars.

Enrolled employees complete the Employee Contributions Agreement (PDF) if they wish to authorize their employer to defer a percentage of their salary/wages, before imposition of Federal income tax, to their UU Retirement Plan account. Employees can also halt or change their Elective contributions using the same form.

  • Catch-Up Contributions

    • Employees who will attain age 50 or better before the end of the calendar year may elect to defer additional amounts known as Catch-Up Contributions. See the Employee Contributions Agreement (PDF) for annual limits imposed by the IRS.


The Plan is an IRS qualified 401(a)/401(k) defined contribution, multiple employer, church retirement plan. Eligible participants are permitted to roll certain funds in to the Plan; call TIAA at 800-842-2829 for details.

Employers' Retirement Contributions

  • More than 84% of participating employers in our plan provide an Employer's contribution of at least 10% (some through a combination of Employer's Retirement and Employer's Matching contributions).
  • Reference your Employer Participation Agreement to view the Employer's Contribution percentage commitment.
  • The Employer's Retirement Contributions, sometimes referred to as a base contribution, are owed to all employees who have met the Plan's eligibility-service criteria regardless of whether the employees choose to authorize Elective Contributions.
  • Employees cannot "opt out" of receiving the Employer's required contributions.

Employers' Matching Contributions, if any

  • Some Employers have also committed to make Employer's Matching contributions equal to a specified percentage of pay that the employee electively defers, pre-tax, from their salary.
  • Only employees who are eligible for Employer's Retirement contributions can receive Employer's Matching contributions.
  • The maximum permitted Employer's Matching contribution percentage is six percent (6%).
  • Reference your specific Employer Participation Agreement to view the Employer's Matching Contribution percentage, if any.