In general, participants can receive distributions from their Shepherd Plan accounts after the later of: (1) attaining age 59-1/2; or (2) terminating employment with a sponsoring organization. Distributions can also be requested upon the death or qualifying disability of a participant.


Participants who are active workers may apply for a loan from the Shepherd Plan. In general, the maximum permitted loan amount is the lesser of: (1) $50,000; or (2) half of the present value of the worker’s Shepherd Plan account balance. A participant may have only one loan at a time.

Special Considerations for Ministers of the Gospel

Retired Ministers of the Gospel may receive tax-free distributions from the Shepherd Plan for eligible housing expenses.

A Minister of the Gospel may utilize Housing Equity Account contributions prior to age-59 1/2 for the down payment on a home.


A participant may designate a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) to inherit the participant’s Shepherd Plan account balance after the participant’s death, or include the Shepherd Plan account balance in the participant’s estate.