31st Oct 2009 by Joseph Pousada
The following is for informational purposes only and you should always consult your tax advisor to see if your personal situation meets the criteria for a distribution from your 401k and any penalty exception.
Generally, you are not allowed to take withdrawals from your 401k unless you have reached 59 ½ years of age, the plan is terminated and there is not another eligible qualified plan at your employer for you to go into, you have been terminated or resigned from the employer, become disabled, or experience a “financial hardship”. If you become deceased, your designated beneficiaries or your estate would be able to withdraw as well regardless of age. If you are under 59 ½ you would be subject to an IRS penalty unless you meet the qualifications for an exception.
In addition, if your reach 70 ½ years of age the government mandates that you take “required minimum distributions”. The minimum amount that you must take is based on the prior year’s closing value and one of a few actuarial charts. You can choose with your tax advisor which method would be best for your personal situation with certain factors like the age difference between you and your spouse playing a role in the calculations.
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