News & Articles


Distribution Options within FCMM Retirement Plan (Updated 6/9/2017, 1/1/2020, 2/1/2023)

Authored by: Jerry Rich
Date: April 18, 2017

Your FCMM Retirement Plan allows several methods for receiving your accumulated funds. (See list at the end of this article.) The contributions you and/or your employer made over the years can be taken as income distributions (after minimum age of 59 1/2) to provide for your living expenses in later years.

A form of FCMM distribution that is often chosen is the monthly income benefit (MIB), often referred to as an “in-plan annuity”), which converts a sum of money in your retirement account to a level payout each month. The MIB ("annuity") can be used to provide consistent retirement paychecks to you and, if you choose at the time of starting the annuity, to the surviving spouse. See Form 36 Monthly Income Benefit and Annuity Descriptions in the Forms & Documents section of the FCMM website for more information.

While many retirement plans don’t offer such an in-plan annuity, the FCMM Plan has always offered this option. And it’s not just available for Option C (the Lifetime Fund),  but for any funds in any investment Option of FCMM. You may take any sum of money from one or more Options to fund a MIB. (Please see this article on Option C as it relates to MIB and lump sum distributions.)

The MIB offers level income, but it does not provide cash liquidity outside of monthly payouts; once an amount is converted to an annuity there is no cash balance. For that reason, some participants prefer to “self-annuitize” by requesting recurring cash withdrawals to meet income needs. Each monthly payout reduces the cash balance, meaning there is no assured lifetime income since a person may outlive the resources. As long as a cash balance remains, a member may access it for one-time distributions as well.

When funds are not converted to MIB ("annuity"), they are subject to IRS rules for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). (See this article for more information about of RMDs.) If recurring or other cash withdrawals don’t at least equal RMD calculations, then an additional distribution must be taken for the difference.

However, if you are employed at least half-time by an FCMM-participating church past the age of 73, you are not subject to RMDs until you leave that employment.

For ministers whose contributions were made while eligible for housing allowance, your distributions is designated by FCMM as housing allowance, subject to the normal IRS guidelines. This housing allowance benefit is available to the member but does not continue to beneficiaries including surviving spouse. Funds that are rolled out from FCMM Retirement Plan typically lose the housing allowance benefit.

Any combination of retirement account distributions may be taken as best fit your circumstances. For example, you can take a portion of your account as a Monthly Income Benefit, leaving a remainder to be distributed upon request or via RMDs. Another example: You may take recurring distributions for a period of time, then convert your remaining balance (or a portion of the balance) to the Monthly Income Benefit.

Forms of Retirement Plan Distributions and Actions: 

  • Monthly Income Benefit ("annuity") - Request an income estimate by emailing with your anticipated beginning date, no later than three months before that date.
  • Recurring Withdrawals - Request Form 09R Recurring Cash Withdrawal by calling FCMM at (800) 995-5357.
  • One-time Withdrawal - Request Form 09 Cash Withdrawal by calling FCMM at (800) 995-5357.
  • Annual Required Minimum Distributions only - Respond to FCMM’s annual notice to you about your calculated RMD or allow the distribution to be automatically sent.
All funds in all Options of the FCMM Retirement Plan are eligible for these various forms of distribution.