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UUA Retirement Plan
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Dear Member:

The UUA Retirement Plan is undergoing a major revision.  Over the past year, the Council on Church Staff Finances, which the UUMA is a member organization, has been briefed on the proposed changes to the UUA Retirement Plan.  The UUA Retirement Plan Committee is nearing completion of its work.  Before submitting the Plan revision to the UUA Board for its consideration, the Committee is soliciting feedback from congregations, other participating employers, and each of the professional groups.  We encourage you to bring the details of the proposed Plan changes, along with your thoughts, to the attention of your congregation's leadership.  Detailed information on the proposed changes is available on the website of the Office of Church Staff Finances at: UU Organizations Retirement Plan - Changes

The most significant changes from the existing retirement plan are:

1. New Employees and Employee (Tax-Deferred) Contributions:  The revised Plan allows new employees, including part-time employees working less than 1,000 hours annually, to enroll in the Plan and begin making tax-deferred employee contributions upon employment.  Currently, new employees must complete an initial year of service during which they worked at least 1,000 hours AND the participating employer must make an employer contribution of 10 percent or more before any employee can make tax-deferred contributions. The requirement that employers must contribute 10 percent before employees can make contributions is eliminated.  Existing part-time employees, who are not yet Plan participants because they never fulfilled the 1,000 hour annual requirement, may now enroll and make pre-tax voluntary salary deferrals.   

2. Auto-Enrollment:  Adopting congregations and other UUA-related employers will have the option to auto-enroll new employees upon employment, and withhold a specified percentage (ranging from 1-6 percent) of compensation as a pre-tax employee contribution.  Employees can opt out of the pre-tax contributions or change the percentage of compensation contributed at any time.

 3. Participant Eligibility for Employer Contributions:  A participant who has fulfilled the initial year of service with 1,000 hours requirement will remain eligible for employer contributions even if the number of hours worked falls below 1,000 hours in subsequent years.  The current plan requires a minimum of 1,000 hours each year in order for an employee to remain eligible for employer contributions.     

4. Minimum Employer Contribution:  The Plan will require a minimum employer contribution of 5 percent for all eligible employees. Presently, the Plan contains no minimum contribution.  UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines will continue to be a minimum 10 percent employer contribution. 

5. Optional Employer Match:  The revised Plan will allow employers to offer a discretionary matching employer contribution in addition to the required minimum contribution. 

6. Multiple Employers: Under the provisions of the revised Plan, the initial 1,000 hour eligibility requirement for receiving employer contributions can be met by counting the hours worked by an employee at more than one participating employer.    

7. Ongoing Retirement Plan Alerts:  If you would like to receive periodic updates on the changes coming to the UUA Retirement Plan and its implementation, send an email with your name, congregation, and role to:


You can read more about the changes in this Executive Summary and this more detailed document.  

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
© 2016 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.