Coworkers are service volunteers who live and work alongside people with developmental and other disabilities in Camphill communities.
The Coworker Trust was established by the Camphill Association of North America (CANA) to benefit coworkers from participating Camphill communities through individual savings plans. The Coworker Trust has the potential to strengthen a Camphill community’s recruitment and retention of longer-term coworkers and house leaders.
Any Camphill community in the United States that is a member of CANA may elect to participate in the plan by making periodic contributions on behalf of their eligible coworkers. Coworkers who are members or full-time residents of participating Camphill communities for three consecutive years are eligible for the plan.
The Trustees of the Camphill Resident’s Trust (CRT) also serve as Trustees of the Camphill Coworker Trust. The Coworker Trust uses the same administrator, legal counsel, and financial and investment management services as the CRT. Therefore, there is the advantage of high-quality, professionally managed services with low fees.
A separate trust account is established for each coworker for whom a contribution is made under the plan. The size of contributions to the Trust for a coworker is determined by each participating Camphill community. Periodic reporting is provided to both the coworker and the participating Camphill community.
Coworkers are vested in their accounts as soon as contributions are made to the trust account. Coworkers can withdraw funds from their trust account for any reason, provided the minimum withdrawal is $5,000. There are no federally mandated withdrawals at age 70 1/2 as required with other retirement instruments and no penalties for early withdrawal.
As a general rule, contributions made to eligible coworker accounts are subject to earned income tax at the time contributions are made. Income earned on the account also is taxable to the coworker. Withdrawals are not subject to tax.
Coworkers who are residents of participating Camphill communities and are interested in receiving more information about the Coworker Trust can request a copy of the Summary Plan Description for the Camphill Coworker Trust from their community administrators or contact the CRT directly.