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Contributions to the Retirement Plan
Contributions to the Retirement Plan
Benefits & Compensation for Congregations

Contribution Basics

From date of hire with a UU Employer that has adopted the Plan, employees age 18 and up are immediately 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.

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

Adopting employers have each committed to calculate and remit a certain percentage Employer's Retirement Contribution, sometimes referred to as a base contribution, for all of their employees who have met the Plan's eligibility-service criteria.

Some employers have also committed to provide an Employer's Matching Contribution, in order to incentivize employees to make Elective Contributions.

Types of Contributions

Elective Contributions

Enrolled employees must complete the Employee Contributions Agreement in order to authorize their employer to direct a portion of their pre-tax salary/wages to their UU Retirement Plan account. 

  • 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 for annual limits imposed by the IRS.


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

Employers' Retirement Contributions

  • Each Employer's current Participation Agreement reflects their commitments regarding Employer's Retirement Contributions, Employer's Matching Contributions (if any), whether or not they administer the Plan with auto-enrollment, and other important details.
  •  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).
  • Employer's Retirement Contributions are made by the employer for all employees who have met the Plan's eligibility-service criteria, and regardless of whether the employees choose to authorize Elective Contributions.

Employers' Matching Contributions, if any

  • Each Employer may have also committed to make Employer's Matching contributions, equal to a specified percentage of pay that the employee defers as Elective Deferrals during a payroll period.
  • Only employees who are eligible for Employer's Retirement contributions can receive Employer's Matching contributions.
  • The maximum permitted Employer's match is six percent (6%). 
  • The Employer's Participation Agreement documents whether, and at what percentage, an Employer offers this type of contribution.

Employers Remit All Contributions

Contribution remittance data must accompany all contributions sent to TIAA, the Plan's Recordkeeper.

UU Employer's office administrators, Treasurers or other responsible church employees may contact retirementplan [at] uua [dot] org to request status as the authorized remitter for their location.​ Doing so allows our office and our counterparts at TIAA to provide information and remittance formatting guidelines for a successful contribution remittance process.

Annual Limits

See the Employee Contributions Agreement or below for the 2019 annual limits imposed by the IRS. 

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

Clergy Housing Allowance is already a non-taxable benefit and cannot be deferred as an Elective contribution.

  • Effective January 1, 2019, the Elective Deferral limit is $19,000.00 
  • The age fifty Catch-Up contributions limit for 2019 is $6,000.00.
  • For tax year 2019, the 415 (c) annual contribution limit for defined contribution plans is $56,000 (employer and employee contributions total). 

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