Question & Answer

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General

Are records held by the Benefits Board considered confidential?

Is my retirement account at the Benefits Board covered under FDIC insurance? In other words, how secure is my retirement?

As a new minister, I understand that I can opt out of the Social Security system. Should I do so?

Why am I being asked to update my beneficiaries?

Does the Benefits Board have any responsibility or duty in regards to the Aged Ministers' Fund of the Church of God?

Will I ever be allowed to move my pre-July 2000 contributions into one or more of the stock accounts?

Has the constitutionality of the ministers' "housing allowance" provision ever been questioned?

Will IRA contributions, once they are rolled into the Ministers' Retirement Plan (something that is allowable as of January 1, 2002), be treated like MRP contributions and therefore subject to be distributed in retirement as housing allowance?

How do I know how much I have contributed towards the church plan catch-up provision allowed by the IRS?

What would happen to my retirement account if a beneficiary designation form is not on file?

How can I best keep up to date on matters affecting the market, and thus my retirement account, and have constant information about my personal retirement account at the Benefits Board?

How are the current market conditions, in light of the recent terrorist attacks and war efforts, affecting my retirement account if I am only in the Trustees' Fund?

It is my understanding that when I start drawing from my account at the Benefits Board that my distributions are designated as housing allowance since I am a minister of the gospel. Does that designation of housing allowance continue if I die and my wife is left as the beneficiary?

How can I be assured that I am maximizing the tax benefits of being a minister?

May I list my child as the primary beneficiary of my Ministers' Retirement Plan account?

If I start drawing from my account at the Benefits Board on a regularly scheduled distribution of, say, 15 years, can I later change my mind to make the pay out either longer or over a shorter period of time?

I would like to know the maximum amount that I can put in the retirement plan?

May a participant in the Ministers' Retirement Plan begin drawing out of his retirement account even though he has not reached "retirement age" according to Social Security?

Traditional 403(b)

Who is eligible to participate in the Ministers’ Retirement Plan?

When is my money available to me from the Ministers' Retirement Plan?

Are my pension benefits taxable?

What about a member who may become disabled before reaching retirement age?

In case of death, what happens to a member’s account?

May I make a contribution in the year that I file my tax return to reduce my taxes for a previous year?

Is there a provision for “rollovers” from other 403(b) plans?

May I transfer IRA pension monies or other retirement account funds to my traditional, before-tax account in the Ministers' Retirement Plan?

Is the Ministers' Retirement Plan an IRA?

Does my spouse have to be my primary beneficiary?

Is there a maximum amount that I can contribute yearly?

How can I contribute more than what my employer/church contributes for me?

Are there surrender charges and an IRS penalty if a member makes an early withdrawal of funds prior to age 59½?

If a member contributes through the Salary Reduction Agreement method and moves to another pastorate, department, etc., what is the proper procedure?

If a minister's credentials are revoked or if a minister leaves the Church of God, what happens to the member accumulations?

If an employee (non-minister) leaves the employment of the church, agency, etc. prior to retirement, are they required to withdraw all their contributions?

Where are the retirement funds invested?

Is my retirement account guaranteed by any agency of the federal government?

Is this program available to evangelists and chaplains?

Is it necessary to enroll in the MRP before sending contributions?

What kinds of distribution options are available at retirement?

Roth 403(b)

What is a designated Roth 403(b) contribution?

Can I make both pre-tax elective and designated Roth 403(b) contributions in the same year?

Is there a limit on how much I may contribute to my designated Roth 403(b) account?

Can I make age-50 catch-up contributions as a designated Roth 403(b) contribution to my designated Roth account??

Can I contribute the maximum, including catch-up contributions, to both a designated Roth 403(b) account and a Roth IRA in the same year?

Do the same income restrictions that apply to Roth IRAs apply to designated Roth 403(b) contributions?

Can my employer match my designated Roth 403(b) contributions? Must my employer allocate the matching contributions to a designated Roth 403(b) account?

Can I change my mind and have designated Roth 403(b) contributions treated as pre-tax elective contributions?

Can I make a designated Roth 403(b) contribution for my spouse if my spouse has no earned income, as permitted with a spousal IRA account?

What is a qualified distribution from a designated Roth 403(b) account?

Is a qualified distribution from a designated Roth 403(b) account included in your gross income?

Is a nonqualified distribution from a designated Roth 403(b) account included in your gross income?

What is a 5-taxable-year period of participation? How is it calculated?

What happens if I take a distribution from my designated Roth 403(b) account before the end of the 5- taxable-year period?

Since I make designated Roth 403(b) contributions from after-tax income, can I make tax-free withdrawals from my designated Roth 403(b) account at any time?

Can I take a loan from my designated Roth 403(b) account?

Can I roll over distributions from a designated Roth 403(b) account to another employer's designated Roth 403(b) account or into a Roth IRA?

Who is responsible for keeping track of the designated Roth 403(b) contributions and 5-taxable-year period?

Since a qualified distribution from a designated Roth 403(b) account is not subject to taxation, must the distribution be reported?

Since designated Roth 403(b) contributions are already included as part of wages, tips & other compensation on Form W-2, must designated Roth 403(b) contributions also be identified on Form W-2?

What are the benefits of contributing to a designated Roth 403(b) account versus contributing to a Roth IRA?

Do the required minimum distribution rules apply to designated Roth 403(b) accounts?

Additional Resources

Loans

Who is eligible to apply for a Member loan from the Ministers’ Retirement Plan?

What is the minimum loan that can be obtained?

What is the maximum loan that can be obtained?

How must the loan be repaid and under what terms?

Is there an application fee for a Member loan?

What is the rate of interest charged on Member loans?

Will all the interest that I repay go into my account?

If I am diversified among different investment options offered by the Board, from which account will my loan be funded?

When I repay my loan, how are my payments reinvested?

May I have more than one outstanding loan at a time?

Do I have to pledge additional collateral to obtain a Member loan?

Will the money that I borrow as a Member loan continue to draw interest or have earning like the other money in my account?

If I am no longer eligible to participate in the MRP, what happens if I have an outstanding Member loan?

If I am not able to make the monthly repayment or if I have insufficient funds in my account to cover the repayment withdrawal, what happens to my loan?

I am in the military and may be called up for active duty. Are there provisions to defer my loan payments while I am on military duty?

If I am already drawing from my retirement account under an amortized distribution schedule, may I take a Member loan?

If I change banks during the repayment of my loan, what action should I take?

Is the interest that I pay towards my Member plan loan deductible on my tax return?

Will my spouse have to sign for me to obtain a Member loan?

How long will it take to process my loan application once it has been received by the Benefits Board?

Will I be required to sign a legal document before I get a Member loan?

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Church of God Benefits Board | Cleveland, TN