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What is the process to withdraw funds from my 401k plan.

Oct 20, 2014 by Cedric from Arlington, TX in  |  Flag
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Peter C. Karp Level 20


Withdrawing funds from your 401(k) depends on your particular circumstances. If you are still employed at the company you may be able to take a loan or hardship withdrawal if your plan allows for either of the those. Sometimes in-service withdrawals are allowed. You need to contact your HR department and review the Summary Plan Description (SPD) to determine what type of withdrawals your plan allows. If you no longer work for the company you could rollover the funds to an IRA account or transfer them to your new employer’s plan, if the new employer allows rollovers, without taxes or penalties. If you have terminated employment and want a cash distribution you will be subject to taxes and early withdrawal penalties if you are younger than 59 ½ years old. I recommend you talk with the plan’s investment advisor or your tax professional as well. Please send me an email at peter@karpcapital.com to discuss your personal situation in further detail.

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1 Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 23, 2014 from San Francisco, CA

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Flag |  Dec 16, 2019

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Contact your employer's HR Dept and request the proper forms for the type of withdrawal you want to do. Some plans let you do this on-line also.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 20, 2014 from Canton, GA

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Tunc Tanin Level 10

You may need your spouse authorization in some plans so make sure you contact your HR or plan administrator, every plan is different

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 20, 2014 from Somerville, MA

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The others have answered the basic question which is to contact your HR department. But I’m curious about some information you left out. Are you still employed by the company where you have the 401(k)? If so, you may not be able to withdraw money unless you leave the company … or if they allow and in-service distribution. Companies differ.

The next question is what you plan to do with the money. If you plan to roll it into an IRA, make sure it’s done right or you could be subject to a tax. If you plan to spend it, depending on your age you may be subject to a penalty for early withdrawal plus paying income tax on your withdrawal.
If you are not familiar with the rules, please get some guidance from an RIA.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 21, 2014 from Suffolk, VA

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Brian Kuhn CFP® Level 17

Hi there thanks for reaching out. You need to contact the human resources department of your former employer or the investment provider of the 401(k) plan. The contact information for the 401(k) provider can be found on your statements if one of those is available. Feel free to contact me via email to continue the conversation.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 23, 2014 from Fulton, MD

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