Withdrawals and Distributions from the Unitarian Universalist Organizations Retirement Plan
Withdrawals and Distributions - UU Retirement Plan
Benefits & Compensation for Congregations


The CARES Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, allowed our UU Retirement Plan provisions to be updated, permitting participants impacted by the Coronavirus to have increased access to their retirement savings via special distributions or loans.

We remind you that the Plan provides for each participant to engage with TIAA for a no-cost annual consultation.

Before making any decisions, you may be wise to reach out to either a TIAA financial consultant or a qualified advisor of your choice to review your current situation, budget, and concerns.

See below for information regarding non-Coronavirus distributions.

Participants may withdraw funds upon attainment of:

  • age 59½ or
  • termination of employment or
  • permanent disability or 
  • retirement

Participants Initiate Requests

In order to initiate a cash withdrawal, the plan participant logs in to their account profile via www.tiaa.org/uua and navigates via quick links to start a loan/withdrawal.

No computer access? Call TIAA using the dedicated phone line (800) 842-2829. TIAA will help the participant to initiate the proper paperwork, and will respond to the participant's key questions. See below for paperless transactions permitted for IRS-required and recurring minimum distributions.

Plan Signature Required

Once a participant has completed the request, if doing so online, TIAA's system rules will ensure that the request is conveyed to UUA Retirement Plan staff for review and authorization. UUA staff help to verify dates of service with the local employers to support request authorizations. They also apply an attestation when applicable, related to the unique retired clergy-tax-treatment available under IRS rules. 

If submitting a paper form to TIAA, participants are advised to keep a copy for their own records. When TIAA receives the paperwork, their system rules ensure that UUA staff receive requests for review and authorization.

For related information about distributions upon retirement, also review Upon Retirement.

Required Minimum Distribution

Law Changes! Both the CARES and the Secure Acts recently impacted RMD requirements

The CARES Act permits RMD payments to be suspended for 2020 and restarted in 2021.

Participants requesting RMD changes due to the CARES Act, call TIAA: (800) 842-2829 and provide your SSN or account number to authenticate and make your request.

•    If you already have an RMD payment scheduled for this year: You have the flexibility to cancel it, and TIAA will restart it automatically in 2021.
•    If you have already started receiving your RMD this year: You have the option to repay it as a rollover. If checks have already been sent, you have 60 days to roll over those funds into a plan that accepts rollovers or into an IRA. In past disaster scenarios, the IRS has extended that rollover period. TIAA will monitor regulatory activity and notify clients if an extension is granted in this context.
•    If you have not set up your RMD this year: Based on the CARES Act, TIAA cannot set up new RMD payments. If you still need the money, you can take a withdrawal. The quickest way to set that up is through the TIAA website; be sure to consider setting up direct deposit.  

Secure Act - be sure to read the CARES Act information above, first

For our plan participants, before the Secure Act, the rule used to be that you had to take the RMD after attaining age 70 1/2 or retiring, whichever was later.​

The Secure Act increases the age from 70 1/2 to 72.  However, this development only applies to folks who reach 70 1/2 after 2019. Therefore, if you turned 70 1/2 in 2019 or earlier, you are not impacted by the change. 

If you will turn 70 1/2 in 2020 or later, you won’t need to start taking RMDs until after attaining age 72 or retiring, whichever is later

Key point: If you turned 70 1/2 in 2019 and have not yet taken your initial RMD for that year, you would, but for the CARES Act, have to take that RMD, which is for the 2019 tax year, by no later than April 1, 2020 or face a 50% penalty on the shortfall. You would then take your second RMD, which is for the 2020 tax year, by Dec. 31, 2020.



For more information contact retirementplan@uua.org.

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