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

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.

Note: No one invoices the Employer.

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

Employers are to notify retirementplan [at] uua [dot] org 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, and any commitment regarding Employer's Matching Contribution.

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 must complete the Employee Contributions Agreement if they wish to authorize their employer to direct a portion of their pre-tax salary/wages to their UU Retirement Plan account. 

Employees use that same form to authorize their Employer to halt or change the amount of their Elective contributions.

  • Remember, employees can not "opt out" of receiving Employer's contributions, and even at the Employee's request, the employer cannot decide to provide Employer Contributions as cash wages.
  • 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

  • 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 specific Employer Participation Agreement to view the Employer's Retirement Contribution percentage.
  • 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.

Annual Limits

See the Employee Contributions Agreement or below for the 2020 annual limits imposed by the IRS. 

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

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

  • Effective January 1, 2020, the Elective Deferral limit is $19,500.00 
  • The age fifty Catch-Up contributions limit for 2020 is $6,500.00.
  • For tax year 2020, the 415 (c) annual contribution limit for defined contribution plans is $57,000 (employer and employee contributions total). 

For more information contact

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