What are the Different Ways to Withdraw Funds From My 401(k) Account?
There are a few different ways to withdraw funds from your account depending on the features offered by your plan, keep in mind that there are a few rules for withdrawing retirement funds and potential tax implications to consider.
Savers may be able to withdraw funds if they can show a substantial financial need. The IRS permits withdrawals for certain types of "substantial financial need," but generally this type of withdrawal is meant to cover medical expenses, funeral expenses, and similar emergencies. Unlike a loan, a hardship withdrawal does not need to be paid back.
In Service Distributions
To put it simply, it is a distribution that a participant may take from a retirement plan while still employed. Some 401(k) plans allow you to take a withdrawal from your contributions to your 401(k) while employed for any reason, often beginning at (but not before) age 59 ½. You may also be able to withdraw your funds that have been rolled in from an outside retirement account before age 59 ½. Please note that while the IRS permits plans to allow for in-service distributions, 401(k) plans are not required to offer this option. Your 401(k) plan’s Summary Plan Description (SPD), which can be found in the 'Plan' tab in the 'Documents' section of your saver portal, can provide more information on what types of withdrawals your plan allows.
A 401(k) loan is a way to borrow against your retirement account while agreeing to repay the balance, plus interest, within a specific timeframe. Loans generally have a term of 1-5 years, although your plan may allow a longer-term if you use the loan to purchase a principal residence. Your loan must be repaid through payroll deductions or paid out in full through a lump sum payment.
Participants can take out a "loan" from the vested balance of their plan. The IRS limits a loan amount to greater than $50,000 or 50% of the participant's vested account balance. There may be restrictions in the plan, such as how many loans a single participant can have outstanding or how many loans a plan can have at any given time across all participants. Learn How to Request a Loan.
Required Minimum Distributions
RMDs are the minimum amount you must withdraw each year from a retirement plan after reaching age 72. However, as is stated on the IRS website, Roth IRAs “do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.”
Learn more about How to Request a Withdrawal and the Pro's and Con's of tapping into your 401(k) in times of need.
Leaving Your Company
Vestwell will receive data regarding your employment status from your employer. Typically this information is received on the payroll following the date you leave your company. Your portal will be updated at that time, and you will be given options to either distribute your full account balance or rollover your balance to another retirement account. Click here to learn more about what to do with your funds if you have left your company.
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