Pastors, Check Your 403(b) Number!

salaried-employees-income-tax-exemption-600x450No, not your account balance, though that’s permissible and advisable on occasion. If you have a 403(b) retirement account the all-important number to check is the one that follows immediately after the designation of 403(b). Is it a 403(b)(7) or a 403(b)(9)? The difference in those two numbers could save you thousands of tax dollars in retirement – or it could cost you thousands of tax dollars in retirement.

A 403(b)(9) not only allows your church to make contributions to your retirement account tax free, it also allows you to take distributions in retirement tax free! That is, as long as those funds are used for your Housing Allowance. You can’t find a better rate of return on your money than that! Clergy can still claim a Housing Allowance in retirement but the 403(b)(9) is the only vehicle that affords you that benefit. As a side-bar, should you predecease your spouse, the Housing Allowance provision is discontinued.

CBAmerica has recently forged a partnership with Guidestone, a Christian ministry oriented financial services provider. Member churches of Mission Northeast are eligible to avail themselves of Guidestone’s resources which include counsel and a wide-range of financial services, including, but not limited to, planning for retirement.

You may work with a trusted financial planner but not all CFP’s are aware of this particular provision. So check that number on your 403(b) and contact for more information. If you discover that you’re missing a (9) after your 403(b) Guidestone can help you convert that (7) into a (9). They did it for me.

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