Withdrawals and Distributions

Participants are fully vested and may withdraw funds upon attainment of:

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

Before making a decision to request a distribution, participants may benefit by consulting an advisor of their choice or a TIAA financial consultant to review their current situation, budget and concerns. Clergy participants are advised to review and discuss the IRS' applicable tax provisions, potentially referencing IRS Publication 517 and perhaps the Church and Clergy Tax Guide published annually.

Clergy, be aware that the IRS regulations permit special tax treatment related to distributions of your exercise of ministry money held in the denominational plan; that tax advantage is lost if you roll those monies out to a non-qualified, non-church plan.

Upon attaining a certain age and retirement status, the IRS requires all of our plan participants to take a minimum distribution, known as RMD. Scroll down for more information.

    Participants Initiate Requests

    In order to initiate a cash withdrawal, the plan participant logs in to their account profile via TIAA/UUA and navigates to start a loan/withdrawal.

    No computer access or prefer to talk to TIAA? Call the dedicated phone line at TIAA (800) 842-2829. TIAA will answer questions and help participants to initiate a request. See further below for paperless transactions permitted for IRS-required and recurring minimum distributions.

    Plan Signature Required

    Once TIAA has received a participant's request, TIAA's system rules 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 participant's last known UU employer to support Plan authorization of request. Plan staff provide clergy attestation when applicable, to support the IRS' unique retired clergy-tax-treatment.

    If submitting a paper form to TIAA, participants are advised to keep a copy for their own records. Do not submit distribution requests directly to the UUA staff.

    IRS' Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

    The SECURE Act impacted the applicable age

    Our plan participants must begin to take the IRS required minimum distribution after attaining the applicable age or retiring, whichever is Later.

    • For those born before July 1, 1949, plan to take your first RMD when you reach age 70.5 or retire, whichever is later.
    • Due to changes made by the SECURE Act, those born on or after July 1, 1949 do not have to start taking RMDs from this plan until they reach age 72 or retire, whichever is later.
    • Other plans, such as a Traditional IRA, may have different RMD requirements, and requirements may change over time due to new legislation.

    Participants call TIAA with any questions: (800) 842-2829 and be sure to authenticate your identity when prompted; TIAA can help you to initiate the RMD or establish recurring RMD.

    The annual deadline for taking required minimum distributions is December 31. Participants can delay taking their first RMD until April 1 of the year after they attain the applicable age. Remember that taking both the first and second RMD in the same year could cause one to owe more income tax than if those first two RMDs were taken in separate years.

    Note: distributions taken from the plan during a given tax year count toward the IRS' minimum distribution amount required for this plan. Contact TIAA with any questions.

    On the horizon: SECURE Act 2.0 may raise the RMD age even further, to age 75; stay tuned.