You may already know what a 403(b) retirement plan is and why you might choose it over a 401(k) plan. But do you know what a 403(b)(9) plan is? How do you know if it’s right for your ministry?
Simply stated, 403(b)(9) plans are for churches, or those with 501(c)(3) church status, while 403(b) and 403b(7) plans are for everyone else. There is no reason to use a 401(k) plan when you are a non-profit 501(c)(3)—church or not.
What Are the Benefits of a 403(b)(9) Plan?
One of the biggest benefits of 403(b)(9) plans is that they offer the Minister’s Housing Allowance distribution at retirement. This allows a minister who is ordained, licensed, or commissioned to receive a designated portion of their salary that is excluded from gross income and not subject to federal income tax.
403(b)(9) Plans are also not subject to certain ERISA requirements.
Not sure if you have a 501(c)(3) church status?
Reference your determination letter from the IRS. This notification will state whether you are classified as a church under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.