Can a retired public service employee (firefighter) withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty?
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Can a retired public service employee (firefighter) withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty?

Do I have to fill out a special form to claim that I am a retired firefighter? 

3 Replies
Level 9

Can a retired public service employee (firefighter) withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty?

Several Federal Income Tax benefits available to public safety personnel.

1. Pension Protection Act of 2006, P.L. 109-280, Section 828:
Waiver of the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty Tax on Distributions of Pension Plans
In general this covers all uniformed municipal or state [Federal was included in legislation last year] public safety officer - police, firefighter, EMT.
Age 50 instead of age 65 is the age at which there is no longer a 10% penalty for early withdrawals.

2. Pension Protection Act of 2006, P.L. 109-280, Section 845   Extended through 2016
Distributions from Government Retirement Plans for Health and L/T Care Insurance Premiums
Eligible retired public safety officers may exclude up to $3,000 for qualified health insurance premiums paid per year - requirement: premiums must be paid by the retirement plan directly to the insurance provider.

IRS Reference: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p575/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000226714


+++>>> NOTE:  Various states may have additional tax benefits at the state level.




Scruffy Curmudgeon
PFFM, IAFF, Locals 718 & 30, retired firefighter/medic; university faculty - Strategy & Quantitative Methods Med-M&M, Law discriminatory statistics, Med & PH - epidemiology statistics;
USAR 64-67 AIS/ASA MOS 9301 - O3
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-------------------------------------No Not an Intuit Employee - Just donating my time
Level 15

Can a retired public service employee (firefighter) withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty?

These apply to distributions from the qualified retirement plan provided by the employer of the the public safety officer.  There is no equivalent exception for distributions from IRAs.  For IRAs, the age is always 59½.
Level 9

Can a retired public service employee (firefighter) withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty?

Yes, these provisions typically apply to Union pension plans such as from the IAFF or with  the municipalities acting as funding sources and being trustees.


Scruffy Curmudgeon
PFFM, IAFF, Locals 718 & 30, retired firefighter/medic; university faculty - Strategy & Quantitative Methods Med-M&M, Law discriminatory statistics, Med & PH - epidemiology statistics;
USAR 64-67 AIS/ASA MOS 9301 - O3
-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------No Not an Intuit Employee - Just donating my time
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