Retirees and Retirement Planning
Thinking of retiring?
Please inform the Retirement Plan Administrator of your plans to retire as soon as possible at 847-781-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review the How to Retire informational sheets:
Retiring in the Supplemental Plan?
Alert the ACC Retirement Plan Administrator as soon as possible (before you retire)!
If you have a supplemental account, you will begin receiving payments at the end of the first quarter after your retirement date, unless you complete a Supplemental Distribution Election form and submit it to the ACC Retirement Plan Administrator one full year prior to your retirement date.
Unless deferred, in writing, one year in advance of your retirement date, the supplemental account is automatically paid out. All funds in the Supplemental Account are paid out over a five year period, on a quarterly basis via direct deposit. Each payment will enter the instructed bank account on approximately the last day of each quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31). The payment structure of the Supplemental Plan 71281 is defined in the plan document and no exceptions are made.
From the Plan 71281 Summary Description:
"7.03 Form and Amount of Benefit Payments Benefits under the Supplemental Plan are paid in quarterly installments on the last day of each calendar quarter over a five year period."
When can I retire and take distributions?
The normal retirement age in both the Retirement Plan 71280 and the Supplemental Plan 71281 is 65. You can retire in either plan at this age if you are working 30 hours or less.
From the 71280 Summary Plan Description:
"Your “Normal Retirement Date” is the first day of the month coincident with or next following the date you attain age 65 if you retire on your 65th birthday."
You can request to take an early retirement in either plan at age 59.5, the request will be voted on by Retirement Board of Trustees. From the 71280 Summary Plan Description:
"Your “Early Retirement Date” is the date you retire (before your Normal Retirement Date but after attaining age 59 ½) from full-time employment as a professional cantor or temple musician (as determined by the Trustees). For this purpose, “full-time” shall mean regularly scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week.
Requesting Parsonage in Retirement
Please keep the Retirement Plan Administrator informed of your retirement plans.
Parsonage must be approved for the upcoming year, prior to December 31st. For example: parsonage requests for 2021 must be submitted, voted on and entered into the Retirement Board of Trustees meeting minutes by December 31, 2020.
Parsonage Transmittal forms will be mailed in the fall of each year to all participants aged 63 or older. If you wish to request a parsonage distribution from your retirement plan the ACC must receive the completed the Parsonage Transmittal form by the deadline stated in the mailing at the below address, email or fax number:
American Conference of Cantors
ATTN: ACC Retirement Plan
1375 Remington Road, Suite M
Schaumburg, IL 60173
or fax to (847) 781-7801
Why does the Parsonage Transmittal form make me break down my expenses in such detail?
Because the IRS requires us to! See IRS Publication 517, Income Tax: Income and Expenses, Designation requirements. Even though the ACC Retirement Board of Trustees is NOT approving the amount, a specific amount must be designated in the board minutes for your parsonage not to be included in your salary income.
Qualifying for Parsonage in Retirement
Please be aware that you can ONLY claim parsonage if you are an ACTIVE member of a qualified clergy-based plan and organization, such as the ACC Retirement Plan and the ACC. If your retirement funds are NOT in a clergy based plan, you will no longer be eligible to take parsonage once you retire from active employment with your congregation.
Furthermore, once you deplete the available funds in your ACC (or other clergy based) plan, you will no longer be able to claim parsonage.
Please note that the title of “Emeritus/a” has no bearing on whether you can claim parsonage. It is an honorific title between you and your former congregation.
Who determines how much I can claim as a parsonage exemption?
The amount you claim as a parsonage exemption is for you and your tax account to determine and substantiate. Though the ACC needs to collect the final amount and breakdown of your parsonage exemption to record in the board minutes, the ACC does not approve the amount, the ACC only confims that you are an active member of a qualified clergy-based plan and organization. Again, the amount you claim as a parsonage exemption is for you and your accountant to determine.
What if my accountant is not familiar with parsonage?
We encourage all clergy to work with an accountant that is well versed in parsonage.
Here are three important documents for retiring or retired participants to read and share with financial advisors:
1. ACC Retirement Plan FAQS, including Parsonage in Retirement FAQS.
2. The Parsonage in Retirement article highlights the top 10 most common questions we receive on this topic. Unless your financial advisor specializes in 403b Qualified Church Plans, it is unlikely they know the benefits of you participating in the ACC Retirement Plan and the opportunities it can afford you in retirement. Direct your advisor to this article so they understand that you are still eligible for a parsonage allowance, even in retirement.
3. IRS Publication 517 Cat. No. 15021X: Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers
Contact the ACC Office. Especially if you have not reached age 65 and wish to take distributions and parsonage as a retiree from the plan this year. Any early retirement will need to be voted on by the Retirement Board of Trustees. All parsonage distributions require trustee approval (see section When can I retire and take distributions? above). Keep in mind that first distributions can take up to 4 weeks to complete.
Minimum Required Distributions