This fact sheet provides an overview of retirement plans that are sponsored by government entities that do not receive funding from Congress.
NAFI Retirement Plans are retirement plans sponsored by government entities known as Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities (NAFIs). NAFIs are part of the federal government but they do not receive funding from Congress. Instead, NAFIs fund themselves with revenue they earn through the services and products that they provide. Because NAFI employees are not eligible to participate in the retirement plans available to most civilian federal government employees, NAFIs sponsor their own plans.
The best known NAFIs that offer retirement plans are the on-base exchanges and “morale, welfare and recreation” providers inside the U.S. military. If you’ve ever been to a military base, many of the people you see working in the on-base military exchange, bowling alleys, and stores are NAFI employees. NAFIs typically employ civilians, spouses, or children of service members.
Common NAFIs include individuals employed by exchanges, commissaries, and “morale, welfare and recreation” operations with the:
NAFI retirement plans also exist outside the military, and include individuals employed by the:
NAFI plans are not covered by the retirement systems for federal employees or by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal law that covers most retirement plans offered by private-sector employers. As a result, NAFI plans may not have all of the features that most private-sector employees have come to expect from their retirement plans. Unlike plans covered by ERISA, NAFI plans:
Since the Department of Labor has oversight of ERISA plans only, it cannot assist people in NAFI plans. If you are a participant in a NAFI pension plan and need legal assistance, you may be able to get help from the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program or through PensionHelp America at www.pensionhelp.org. The Pension Counseling and Information Program provides free legal advice to anyone with a question about their pension, 401(k), or other retirement plan in 30 states. PensionHelp America is a website that directs visitors to the most appropriate source of pension assistance services.
Published: May 22, 2014< Back