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Withdrawals in Retirement

Managing your retirement income

Before you begin taking withdrawals from your retirement savings, we recommend you create a withdrawal plan to ensure you have the income you’ll need throughout your retirement. RPB is here to help you get you started.

When planning your retirement withdrawals, it’s important to consider your tax liability—which differs based on the type of RPB contributions you’ve made:

  • Withdrawals from pre-tax contributions are fully taxable at ordinary income tax rates.
  • Qualified distributions from Roth contributions are tax-free. They are allowed after five tax years from the account's first funding, and when the account holder reaches 59.5, becomes disabled, or dies.
  • Retired clergy may be able to apply some or all of your housing costs against your pre-tax withdrawals from your RPB 403(b) account for an additional tax benefit.

If you have multiple investment and retirement accounts (i.e., taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-free accounts), consult with your tax advisor about tax-efficient withdrawal strategies. You'll also want to discuss how to withdraw money in a way that won't bump up your tax rate or affect how much tax you pay on your Social Security benefits.

If you have money in RPB’s Rabbi Trust plan, you’ll need to consider the special withdrawal rules for this type of account in your withdrawal planning.

Withdrawal planning considerations

Starting at age 59.5, you can take penalty-free withdrawals even if you’re still working. Here are some general guidelines to help you get started with your retirement planning. But keep in mind that it’s best to create a customized withdrawal plan for your unique situation and periodically reevaluate your strategy to ensure you satisfy your required minimum distributions, minimize your tax burden, and account for any other life changes.

You can roll assets from your other workplace plans into your RPB account. Keep in mind that rollovers between qualified accounts are non-taxable events. Learn more.

Consider all of your retirement income sources when determining how much money you have to work with in retirement. You’ll also be spending differently in retirement—more on some things and less on others—so your annual expenses might be different from when you were working. A common rule of thumb is that you’ll need to replace between 60% – 90% of your annual pre-retirement paycheck for each year you’ll be retired.

You also want to consider how much you can safely withdraw each year. This figure depends on a few factors, including the savings you’ve accumulated in all your investment accounts, market returns, your retirement lifestyle and your life expectancy. One way to calculate how much you’ll need is to plan to withdraw 4% of your retirement savings the first year you retire, then increase that amount by 2% each year after that to account for inflation.

You can use this retirement planning calculator to get started.

The IRS requires that you start taking distributions from your retirement accounts when you reach 73* and are no longer working in the Reform movement. You’ll want to make sure your annual withdrawals satisfy the required distribution amount. Rabbi Trust and Roth 403(b) accounts are not subject to RMDs.

* The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, raised the RMD age from 72 to 73 for plan participants who turned 72 on or after January 1, 2023.

If you’re unsure if you’ll have enough savings to last through retirement, there are steps you can take. Start by reducing your projected retirement expenses where possible.

You can also explore working longer, perhaps even into retirement, or contributing more to your retirement plan before retirement. Our research shows that increasing contributions has a greater impact the earlier you do it and—for those nearing retirement—working longer will help stretch your nest egg. Finally, make sure you review all of your retirement income sources and your retirement budget with a financial advisor.

Avoid spending your retirement savings until you reach retirement.

Early withdrawals will likely have a negative impact on your ability to pay for retirement, and could incur a tax penalty.

403(b) Withdrawal rules and taxes
Pre-tax 403(b) Assets Roth 403(b) Assets

Under Age 59.5

You no longer work for an RPB-eligible employer. 1

You’ll pay income taxes on withdrawals. You'll also pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty, unless you're 55 or older in the calendar year you leave your job. Learn more.

You no longer work for an RPB-eligible employer. 1

You’ll pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty, unless you are 55 or older in the calendar year you leave your job.

You will owe income taxes on the earnings portion of the withdrawal if you’ve held the account for less than 5 years. Learn more.

Age 59.5 or older

Starting at age 59.5, you can withdraw money penalty-free even if you’re still working. You'll owe income taxes on the withdrawals.

Starting at age 59.5, you can withdraw money penalty-free even if you’re still working.

You will owe income taxes on the earnings portion of the withdrawal if you’ve held the account for less than 5 years.

Regardless of how long you've held the account, you may owe state income tax on the earnings portion of the withdrawal, depending on where you live.

Required Minimum Distributions

The IRS requires that you start taking minimum distributions when you reach age 73 by no later than April 1 of the following year.

Exception: If you’re still working for a RPB-eligible employer, you can defer your RMD.

As of January 2024, there are no required minimum distributions.


You can withdraw money without penalty if the disability is total and permanent as defined by the IRS.



Upon the account owner's death, the funds are moved into a beneficiary account. The surviving spouse can choose to use their own age or their deceased spouse’s age to determine when their RMDs will begin.

Non-spouse beneficiaries must withdraw the account balance within 5 years or roll it over into an inherited IRA.

You will owe income taxes on the earnings portion of the withdrawal if you’ve held the account for less than 5 years.

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  1. Early distributions to a qualified retirement plan while actively employed by an eligible employer may be made on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to our Plan Narrative for more information.

RPB withdrawal options

Once you’re ready to request a withdrawal, you can choose one or more of our 403(b) withdrawal options based on your personal financial situation. We recommend that you consult with your financial advisor or tax consultant before finalizing your withdrawal plan.

Systematic Withdrawals are like receiving a regular paycheck. You can customize your recurring withdrawals to fit your unique financial situation:

  • Frequency. Choose monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payments.
  • Amount. Take a specific dollar amount or specify a period of years over which you want the money to be distributed.
  • Payment date. Choose the date of the month that you want the money deposited.
  • Funds. The money is withdrawn proportionally from the investments in your RPB account. Call Fidelity to withdraw the money from specific funds.
  • Delivery method. Your withdrawal proceeds can be directly deposited into your bank account or sent to you by paper check.

To establish, change, or request special processing for a systematic withdrawal, contact Fidelity at 1.800.343.0860.

RMD Systematic Withdrawals are recurring monthly or quarterly withdrawals that are calculated to satisfy your annual Required Minimum Distribution.

It's an easy way to satisfy your RMD because every January, Fidelity automatically readjusts the recurring withdrawal amount to satisfy that year's RMD.

Because this option is automatically calculated based on your annual RMD, you can't change the amount of RMD Systematic Withdrawals. But if you need extra cash during the year, you can request a single withdrawal by calling Fidelity or on NetBenefits.

You have the option to withdraw some or all of your money and have it sent directly to you or to roll over some or all of the money to another qualified retirement account. Keep in mind that direct payments are subject to taxation, whereas rollovers are not. Rollover withdrawals are only allowed from 403(b) accounts, not from Rabbi Trust accounts.

To request a one-time withdrawal, log in to NetBenefits and select ‘Loans/Withdrawals' from the Quick Links menu to start the process. If you want your money deposited directly in your bank account, make sure to enter or update your bank information in NetBenefits at least 10 business days prior to requesting the withdrawal.

Rabbi Trust distributions have a specific distribution schedule based on the option you select.

You can purchase an annuity through MetLife with all or some of the money in your RPB 403(b). The MetLife Annuity will provide you with fixed payments for life at group rates; clergy can also apply their parsonage tax exclusion to annuity payments. Contact us to learn more.

Benefits of keeping your money with RPB after you retire

  • RPB is a trusted financial partner of the Reform Movement
  • Personal service and assistance throughout your retirement
  • Access to annual retirement seminars with industry experts
  • Parsonage tax exclusion on retirement withdrawals for clergy
  • Access to many investment options, including a Jewish values-aligned fund
  • Financial counseling at no additional charge
  • Loans to access money, even in retirement, without tax impact
Withdrawal Order

The savings in your retirement account may appear to be a single bucket of money but each dollar is associated with where it came from—also called the "contribution source" of the money. The source may be a deduction from your paycheck, a contribution from your employer, or a rollover from another eligible retirement plan.

The source is important because RPB uses it to determine the “order” in which the money is taken from your account when you request a withdrawal. This order is designed to help you minimize taxes and maximize growth.

For example, since Roth contributions and their earnings are tax-free for qualified distributions, it may be beneficial to wait to withdraw Roth money so that your contributions and their earnings can continue to grow.

Refer to the chart below to see the order in which money is withdrawn from your account based on the contribution source.

Withdrawal Order Contribution Source Pre-tax Money Post-tax Money Eligible for Parsonage Exclusion


Combined contributions3



Employer contributions



Employee contributions



403(b) Rollover contributions (Parsonage Eligible)4



403(b) Rollover contributions5



Employee Roth contributions



403(b) Roth rollover contributions

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  1. Prior to January 1, 2018, RPB’s recordkeeping services provider did not track employer and employee contributions separately
  2. For clergy, this source is for parsonage eligible rollovers made beginning April 2020.
  3. For clergy, this source may include both parsonage and non-parsonage eligible money. Before April 2020, RPB could not distinguish between parsonage-eligible and non-parsonage-eligible rollovers. Please contact RPB if you have any questions.

If you want to take out your money in a different order, you must contact Fidelity customer service. We suggest you consult with your tax advisor before taking withdrawals for your retirement income.

To view how much money you have in each source, log in to Fidelity NetBenefits, click “Summary” and then click “Balances.” Then, in the “Your Investments” section, click “Show Details” under the “Sources” column

Required distributions in retirement.

After you reach age 73, the IRS requires you to start taking a minimum distribution amount from your account each year.

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