How can I cash out my 401k, regardless of penalty
I am sorry about your current tough spot. It is not an easy decision to cash out of a retirement plan and have to pay taxes and penalties. If possible, take the minimum amount needed and try to hold on to the rest.
You should call the 401k plan administrator at your previous job. They will be able to provide you all the necessary forms.
The plan trustee will withhold a mandatory 20% in taxes for the IRS anytime a check is sent directly to the participant. They will also look at your vesting schedule, if you were not at the job for very long, the employer will keep some of their contributions to your account. They may also withhold a 10% early withdrawal penalty. However, if you are 55 or older, some plans may allow you to access your funds without an early withdrawal penalty, but you’ll still owe taxes.
Again, sorry for your current situation, your previous plan administrator should be able to sit down with you and walk you through the steps necessary. Also, If you have access to an accountant, they will be able to calculate the amount you will net out of this transaction.
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties. I hope it's temporary.
Cashing out may depend on whether you are a union member and if your union sponsored the plan. This is called a "Taft-Hartley" plan. It essentially allows you to have multiple employers but only one plan. If this is the type of plan you have, then you will need to contact your union to see what their rules are. They may allow in-service distributions or they may even allow loans.
If this isn't a 401(k) plan through your unuon, and it is through Clover directly, then contact the firm shown on your statement. If you don't have a statement, contact Clover's HR to find out who manages the 401(k) and how to contact them.