Retirement Plans For Small Nonprofits


Why Choose Vanguard For Your Small Business

Retirement Plans For Nonprofits: 403(b), 401(k), or Something Else?

Selecting Vanguard for your retirement plan means you can expect high-quality, low-cost funds investment flexibility and exceptional serviceall from a partner trusted by businesses like yours to align with our clients’ interests.

Jump start your savings

As a small-business owner, planning for your retirement is entirely up to you. And if you employ others, you’ll be helping them get on the right track for retirement too.

Benefit from tax breaks

All retirement plans offer tax-deferred growth on earnings. As an employer, you also benefit from tax-deductible employer contributions.

Give your money a chance to grow

In addition to your plan contributions, the compounding of interest, dividends, and capital gains allows your account to generate earnings on top of earnings.

Attract and retain employees

Offering a retirement plan to your employees can keep you competitive in the job marketplace and help your business flourish.

How Does The Aca Affect Nonprofits Offering Health Insurance

Nonprofit companies are no more exempt from ACA rules than for-profit companies.

Various federal, state, and local laws require that certain minimum benefits be provided to employees. The legally required benefits you need to offer largely depends on your company size and location.

Here are a few legal provisions you should have on your radar.

What Are Some Features Of The Massachusetts Core Retirement Plan

The CORE Plan is structured in ways that make saving for retirement convenient, easy and tax advantageous. Features include:

  • Auto enrollment If a non-profit business elects to participate in CORE, all of its employees are automatically enrolled into the program within 60 days. The initial contribution rate is 6% of pay.
  • Auto escalation Employee contribution rates automatically increase by 1 or 2% annually, depending on individual preferences, up to a maximum of 15%. Plan participants also have the option to change their rate at any time.
  • Pretax savings CORE makes it possible for employees to generate returns on money that they would have paid in taxes if it had not been deferred.
  • Employer contributions Employers may choose to make Safe Harbor employer-matching contributions or Safe Harbor non-elective contributions, both of which increase the savings potential for employees.

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Core Plan For Nonprofits

Connecting Organizations to Retirement

The Massachusetts Defined Contribution CORE Plan is a tax deferred and post-tax 401 savings plan developed for employees of eligible small nonprofit organizations that choose to adopt it. The mission of the CORE Plan is to help Massachusetts nonprofit employees save and invest for a financially secure retirement. Massachusetts nonprofit organizations with 20 employees or fewer may be eligible to adopt the CORE Plan. The Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General, as sponsor of the CORE Plan, assumes most administrative and investment responsibilities, reducing the burden on participating nonprofit employers.

Employer Retirement Plan Participation Reaches Record Level

3 Types of Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans

New research shows nonprofit worker participation in organization 403 employer retirement plans continued its upward trajectory in the midst of the pandemic.

Reaching the highest level since tracking began in 2008, the number of employees participating in 403 employer retirement plans rose to 77.2% last year, according to Plan Sponsor Council of America’s annual 403 Plan Survey. The participation bump was less than 1% over 2019 and 5.2% over 2018 figures.

Automatic enrollment in 403 employer retirement plans may have played a role in the year-over-year increase as about 28.7% of organizations have automatic enrollment a figure 4.3% higher than 2019 and that has been steadily growing over the past five years.

Nonprofit workers continued commitment to retirement plan participation, even in the face of economic uncertainty, affirms the importance of these programs, and the value of the education provided by employers, Hattie Greenan, director of research and communications at PSCA, said in a statement. The use of automatic enrollment has been shown to not only increase participation, but participant outcomes.

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Strategic & Operations Support Partner

Employer-sponsored retirement plans have numerous benefits. From attracting and retaining employees to tax benefits for owners. By having us analyze your plan and work with you to help optimize the plan design customization now and ongoing can make a difference in your bottom line.

However, with anything finance-related, there are several layers to coordinate. As a business owner or other fiduciary on the retirement plan, you need to be specifically mindful of ensuring the smooth and compliant operation of your plan.

Fiduciary Liability And Best Practices For Nonprofits Retirement Plans

The vast majority of nonprofit organizations now have a defined contribution retirement plan in place. While some nonprofits have elected to move forward with the 401 plan model, many have chosen to offer a 403 plan. 403 plans have received more attention since 2009, when the written plan document requirement went into place. However, both 401 and 403 plans still do not receive the internal oversight and attention that they merit and require. At some organizations, the Human Resources department may be charged with plan oversight, while, for other nonprofits, perhaps the CFO or Controller is responsible for this task.

Some employees tasked with plan oversight may not realize that, depending on the degree and nature of their involvement with plan matters, they may be considered fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 . As such, they are subject to certain responsibilities, and with these fiduciary responsibilities comes potential liability. Fiduciaries who do not follow the basic standards of conduct may be personally and criminally liable for restoring any losses to the plan or for restoring any profits made through improper use of the plans assets.

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Retirement Programs: Which One Is Right For Your Nonprofit

With all the current changes and additions to regulations covering retirement programs, the choices of plan types have expandedbut so have the possible pitfalls to installing and maintaining a competitive retirement program for your nonprofit organization. This article is meant to cover some of the more popular qualified retirement plans available to nonprofits and some basic requirements to adopt and maintain an effective plan for your organization and its employees.

A qualified retirement plan is one that provides:

  • A tax exemption for the fund that is established to provide benefits 1
  • A deduction by the employer for contributions made to the fund 2 and
  • A deferral of the taxes to be paid by the employee on the employers contributions made on the employees behalf, the employees contributions, and the earnings that may accumulate on both within the retirement fund.3

Standard Retirement Programs

Of the two types of defined contribution plans available, profit sharing plans allow the employer more flexibility in the amount of the contributions made each year, in that the nonprofit organization can change the amount of the contributions it chooses to make each year on behalf of its eligible employeesas long as the contributions are substantial and recurring. The term profit sharing is a misnomer, however, as the contributions made annually to the plan have nothing to do with profits and such a plan can be maintained by a nonprofit organization.7


Nonprofit Retirement Plans: An Overview Of 403 Options

Retirement plans for small businesses

A 403 retirement plan is often described as a 401 for nonprofits. The two defined contribution plans are certainly similar, but there are important differences between them.

The 403 actually predates the 401 by several decades. The 403 was introduced in 1958 as a supplemental pension for teachers. Back then, annuities were the only permissible investment for these plans. It wasnt until 1974 that mutual funds could be purchased in 403 accounts.

Today about $1 trillion in assets is invested in 403 retirement accounts. Plan sponsors include government entities, churches and private non-profits. If youre curious who some of the biggest names in the space are, check out our list of top 403 providers.

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Are There Penalties

PAI Retirement Servicesstated, If mandated by the state, employers must enroll their workers into the state-run program through the payroll process.

If an employer fails to abide by state mandates then this can lead to penalties which are imposed at the state level. For example, with CalSavers, the penalty for not allowing eligible employees to participate ranges from $250-$500 per eligible employee.

What Is A Roth Ira

There are two main types of IRAs: traditional and roth.

A traditional IRA relates to contributions that are eligible for a tax deduction the year they are made in. For example, if a contribution is made in 2020, then the individual can exclude the amount from their taxable income for 2020. However, the contributions are also taxed upon withdrawal.

A Roth IRAapplies to contributions that are made after-tax money, so this means that the individual pays taxes on the amount upfront. Any contributions that are made for the year must also be included in their taxable income for that year. Whats good here is that qualified contributions are tax-free upon withdrawal.

However, if someone has an adjusted gross income that exceeds the IRS threshold, they cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.

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Which Organizations Are Eligible For 403 Plans

According to the IRS, a 403 plan, or tax-sheltered annuity , differs from a 401 in that it can only be offered by public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations, such as:

  • An entity created under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.

  • Public school systems

  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

  • Public school systems organized by Native American tribal governments

  • Certain ministers

  • Any 501 institution which might include a not-for profit university, religious organization or social service agency

For example, the organization might be operated for these purposes religion, education, charity, science, literacy, preventing cruelty to children or animals, and more. The eligible organization will typically be structured as a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation. In general, an individual, partnership, or for-profit corporation wont qualify for a 403.

Nonprofit Retirement Plan Cost Considerations

What Type of Retirement Plan Should My Small Business Put ...

403s have historically been notorious for excessive fees. A recent feature in the New York Times explained, “The 403 accounts that many workers contribute to are not subject to the more stringent federal rules and consumer protections that apply to 401 plans.” This, in combination with the fact that many organizations don’t have a lot of options when it comes to 403 providers, means that many of the current 403 plans currently in existence offer employees a confusing set of high-fee funds.

Not all 403 plans have to be bad, and at Human Interest, we pride ourselves on offering a 403 that is on par with our 401 offerings, in the best interest of organizations and employees who do a lot of good for the world.

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Retirement Savings Plan Attracts 51 Nonprofits

More than 50 small nonprofits have enlisted in retirement savings plans newly made available through a state program, and Treasury officials hope to use this years state budget deliberations to open up the program to more nonprofits.

In late 2017, Treasurer Deb Goldbergs office invited nonprofits to adopt the Connecting Organizations to Retirement plan, which was launched as the nations first state-administered multiple employer retirement program for nonprofits with 20 or fewer employees.

The idea was to make 401 plans available to workers whose employers might find the costs of administering their own plans prohibitive.

The state Treasury reported Tuesday that 51 smaller nonprofit employers have now adopted the CORE plan, and efforts are underway to open up the program by uncapping the 20-employee limit.

At small employers, access to quality retirement plans is often limited due to a lack of resources, Goldberg said in a statement. The CORE Plan helps to close the retirement coverage gap within this critically important sector of the Massachusetts economy, and provides retirees and their families financial stability and security after leaving the workforce.

An amendment from Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante to the Houses fiscal 2020 state budget would have allowed nonprofits of any size to participate in the CORE plan.

Pros And Cons Of A 403 Plan

Like any financial product, 403 retirement plans have their benefits and challenges. They provide an easy way to save for retirement today while lowering your immediate tax liability. But you have to wait until you reach a certain age before you can use the money you’ve saved and will have to pay taxes on it then. Here is a look at some of the other pros and cons of 403 plans.

  • Lower taxable income while contributing
  • Possible lower tax rates when money is distributed
  • Employer contributions can increase retirement savings exponentially
  • Retirement money is constantly growing
  • Can contribute income you already paid taxes on
  • Can add an additional $3,000 a year for five years in catch-up contributions above limits if you work for the same employer for 15 years
  • Smaller paychecks in the short-term
  • How much you can contribute and how you invest your money is limited based on the specific plan you have
  • You have to pay taxes on withdrawals
  • You may have to pay penalty taxes if you make early withdrawals
  • Can only use employer-approved investment tools/products that may come with high fees
  • Not required to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or non-discrimination testing rules

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A First For The Nonprofit Sector

As nonprofits, we play a vital role in the social and economic development of our communities. With a healthier and better-supported workforce, our organizations can lead by example, and be better positioned to strengthen our communities and our province. A decent retirement plan extends the sectors commitment to building a culture of decent work.

As part of its vision for a stronger nonprofit sector, ONN recommends the OPTrust Select pension plan. The plan offers a stable and secure path to retirement. Employers act as partners in supporting their staff through joint contributions.

The ONNs two pensions task forces reviewed the possibilities for a sector-specific plan that is affordable for workers and nonprofits and that minimizes risk, provides adequate benefits, and is easy to administer. The ONN believes that the OPTrust Select Plan is the best option for the sector as a whole.

Visit OPTrust to learn more about Select or to join the plan.

Read more about ONNs earlier work on pensions, including the findings of the first pensions task force .

OPTrust and the ONN are pleased they have a collaborative relationship, based on the shared aim of supporting nonprofit workers while limiting the risks for nonprofit employers that provide pensions for their workers. The two organizations are separate and independent of each other, with no organizational overlap or influence. ONN has no involvement in the administration or management of OPTrust Select.

Who Is Eligible For The Plan

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The eligibility rules are vastly different for 403 and 401 plans. The 403 plan uses a universal eligibility rule which in essence allows all employees to start making deferrals as soon as they are hired. Very few exceptions can be made to limit this group. In a 401 plan, the nonprofit can set eligibility requirements based on a defined minimum age, a required employment period, and/or a minimum number of hours before an employee can make deferrals.

From our experience, most non-profits want to provide generous benefits to their employees, so the 403 universal eligibility rule is usually not a concern. However, if a nonprofit has high turnover, it should consider if the universal eligibility rule will create administrative burdens due to increased enrollments and distribution processing for short-term employees.

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Which States Have Mandatory Retirement Savings

More than 30 states have considered legislation for state mandated retirement plans, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has found. Now, the states that have introduced legislation include Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Utah, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia, and West Virginia.

However, only 10 states have enacted legislation to establish state mandated retirement plans so far:

  • California

For employees to be eligible for CalSavers, they need to meet the following:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must receive a Form W-2 with California wages
  • The default savings amount is 5% of gross wages but employees can designate a different amount
  • Contributions need to be made via payroll deduction
  • Employer contributions are not allowed
  • Employees must also be allowed to opt-out of the program.

Best Retirement Plans For Small Businesses & The Self

Self-employment is increasingly popular in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019 16 million Americans were self-employed, and 29.4 million people worked for self-employed individuals, accounting for 30% of the nations workforce.

Being a small business owner or a solo entrepreneur means youre on your own when it comes to saving for retirement. But that doesnt mean you cant get at least some of the benefits available to people with employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Whether you employ several workers or are a solo freelancer, here are the best retirement plans for you.

Who Is It Best For? Eligibility

Self-employed business owners with no employees .

Higher contribution limits than IRAs.

Contributions are tax-deductible as a business expense.

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Can I Opt Out Of Mass Core

Employees who are enrolled in the CORE Plan can opt out online or by calling a participant services representative. The request must be received within 60 days of the autoenrollment notice if the employee wishes to opt out before making contributions.

This information is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing retirement plans and is not a comprehensive resource of all requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing with a client, ADP, Inc. and its affiliates do not endorse or recommend specific investment companies or products, financial advisors or service providers engage or compensate any financial advisor or firm for the provision of advice offer financial, investment, tax or legal advice or management services or serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to retirement plans. All ADP companies identified are affiliated companies.

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