What is a hardship distribution from your 401(k)?

One type of distribution your 401(k) may allow for is a hardship distribution, and while the criteria can vary from plan to plan, most are generally similar. A hardship distribution is used to satisfy the immediate and heavy financial need of the participant, the participant’s spouse or the participant’s non-spouse, non-dependent beneficiary. Common examples of …

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Is a 401(k) loan a good idea? When you should and shouldn’t borrow

When employee benefit plan participants find themselves in tough financial positions, they often look for ways to relieve their financial burden. One of the options is taking out a loan from your 401(k) plan. However, is this a good idea? The answer – it depends on the situation. For most people, the idea of taking …

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When is a loan considered a deemed distribution?

Many 401(k) plans permit participants to borrow from the plan and it’s becoming a more and more common practice. The plan document must specify if loans are permitted. The majority of those loans are repaid according to the terms of the loan agreement. However, there are instances when a participant defaults – and then it’s …

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Required Minimum Distributions

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are minimum amounts certain participants (or retirement account owners if the participant has passed) must take as distributions from their account on an annual basis. Generally, RMDs begin the year in which the participant reaches the age of 70 ½ or the year in which the participant retires, provided they are …

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Different Types of Distributions on a 401(k) Plan

If your company has a 401(k) plan, one of the areas to understand is if your plan allows for different types of distributions, what they entail, and some key items to note regarding each type. The main types of distributions are hardships, termination/rollovers, and in-service. Hardship distributions Not all plans allow for hardship distributions; however …

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Do You Have a Hardship?

Ever since Congress changed the rules to allow plan hardship withdrawals, hardship distributions have been continually increasing among plan participants. There are six safe harbor expenses which the IRS deems to be an immediate and heavy financial need: Purchase of a principal residence College tuition Funeral expenses Eviction from principal residence Medical expenses Repair expenses …

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Pre-Tax v. Roth 401(k): Which is Better for Your Financial Portfolio?

Some plans allow participants to make Traditional (pre-tax) contributions and also Roth (after-tax) contributions. Making a decision on which contributions are right for you can be a difficult choice, as there are current and future tax consequences that you should consider. With a Roth 401(k), you can eliminate concerns about your retirement tax rates, but …

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Hardship Distribution Documentation

IRS requirements are surprisingly vague regarding hardship distributions. In the absence of clear-cut rules, we sometimes see hardship distributions with very little or no supporting documentation. As a plan administrator you should not only comply with the IRS requirements, but also document your compliance with these requirements. Let’s look at a few of the requirements …

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Hardship Distributions – IRS Guidelines

According to the IRS website, a retirement plan may, but is not required to, provide for hardship distributions. If a 401(k) plan provides for hardship distributions, it must provide the specific criteria used to make the determination of hardship. For example, a plan may provide that a distribution can be made only for medical or …

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What Happens If I Don’t Update My Plan Document?

One of the benefits to establishing a qualified retirement plan is that they are subject to favorable tax treatment.  Did you know that failing to timely amend your plan document for changes in Federal tax laws can affect your plan’s status as a tax-qualified plan?  Companies often engage third party service providers to ensure that …

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