I am sorry to hear you are experiencing a hardship. You will need to contact your employer’s HR Dept. and get a copy of the Summary Plan Description (SPD) to determine: 1) if there is a hardship provision in the plan & the requirements to qualify and 2) also see if there is a loan provision which may be a better option for you.
If there is broker or an advisor on the plan or a third party administration firm on the plan, they would be the ones to contact to get more information and the appropriate forms.
Best of luck.
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A hardship withdrawal feature is common in 401(k) plans. However, for a participant to qualify for being able to make a hardship withdrawal, two things are necessary. They are: (1) Your 401(k) plan must contain a hardship withdrawal feature, and (2) you need for money must qualify as a hardship under the terms of the plan and the law. With respect to these two requirements, it is best that you review the plan information you should have received from the employer. Such information should tell you if your plan allows hardship withdrawals and under what circumstances such withdrawals may be made. If you do not have such information at your fingertips, you should contact the Plan Administrator or your companies personnel department to get such information. And you should also ask for an application to apply for the hardship distribution. Of course, if you request such items, if your plan does not allow hardships, you will be told.
Hardship withdrawals can only be taken if a hardship exists. And a hardship exists only if your need for money is for a purpose that is defined in the plan document (and the law). Generally, needs that may qualify as hardship needs, are a need to pay medical bills for themselves or their family, a need to educational expenses for yourself or your family, a need to purchase a principal residence, a need to keep your home from being foreclosed on, etc.
One more important requirement is that the law also says: If your plan allows participant loans, before a participant may take a hardship withdrawal, such participant must first take a maximum loan from the plan.
Now, with respect to you wanting to talk to an agent, if you mean the agent that services the plan for your employer, you should ask your employer to give you the information to contact such agent. If such agent is doing his job properly, they will give you the help you are seeking and answers to the questions you may have regarding your plan.
I hope the above information is helpful to you to better understand hardship withdrawals and how they work.