Beginning January 1, 2009, the IRS imposed some new regulations on 403(b) retirement accounts. The following is to inform you of those changes and how they affect you and your church/employer. Please read the information and contact us with any questions you might have.


403(b) Regulation Resources for Free Will Baptist Churches and Agencies

The retirement plan your church or organization provides to your ministers and staff is a valuable benefit to them and for your church/organization as it seeks to retain talented, energetic staff. The Board of Retirement is ready to help your church/organization understand and comply with the new regulations so that your church and retirement plan participants avoid adverse tax consequences.

The IRS published new regulations that fully take effect on January 1, 2009. These regulations — which impact all 403(b) plans, including church plans — are not difficult to implement if your church’s/organization’s retirement plan is with the Free Will Baptist Board of Retirement. In fact, to become fully compliant, most will need to invest less than an hour. Below you will find explanations of the regulations that impact your church/organization along with resources that will help you move toward compliance.


Written plan document requirement

FWB churches/organizations that sponsor a 403(b)(9) plan must maintain written documents that describe all material plan provisions. The Board of Retirement provides general plan documentation for the Retirement Plan. However, since each church/organization in this plan has flexibility related to certain plan provisions, your church/organization must develop and maintain additional written rules and procedures that address:

  • What income sources will be considered as compensation?
  • Which employees are eligible to participate in the retirement plan?
  • What contributions will the employer/church make on behalf of employees?


The Board of Retirement makes compliance easy!


Information sharing requirement

Participants, employers and plan providers have more steps to complete if your church makes contributions to more than one investment provider or allows plan participants to move money from one 403(b) investment provider to another while in-service. There are new requirements for sharing information:

  • If you allow contributions to be made to multiple investment providers, you may need to share information with the providers.
  • If you allow participants to move their accounts from one investment provider to another, you may need a written Information Sharing Agreement.
  • If you have multiple investment providers, you will need to identify and list all investment providers approved for ongoing contributions and those approved for contract exchanges only.


The Board of Retirement makes compliance easy!

If you make contributions to the Board of Retirement as a sole provider and do not permit your participants to move money to other investment providers, an Information Sharing Agreement between investment providers will not be needed. Your employees can still move money from other retirement plans or IRAs tax-free through a direct rollover.

The Board of Retirement has been dedicated to enhancing the financial security of our plan participants for almost 40 years. Our employees are highly experienced with church retirement plans and stand ready to help you. Please email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-767-7RET (1-877-767-7738) for additional information.

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