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Can I make a hardship withdrawal from my 401(k)?

by Intuit Updated 6 months ago

Yes, if your 401(k) plan allows hardship distributions, you can withdraw money for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents for "an immediate and heavy financial need" per the IRS. Your plan may allow withdrawals for:

  • Certain medical expenses
  • The purchase of your main home
  • Tuition and educational expenses
  • Payments to prevent eviction or foreclosure on your main home
  • Burial or funeral expenses
  • Certain expenses for the repair of damage to your main home

It's up to your employer and the plan custodian to approve your request for a hardship withdrawal.

Unlike a loan against your 401(k), a hardship withdrawal can’t be repaid. It'll be treated as a taxable distribution and reported on a 1099-R.

If you’re under age 59 1/2, you may have to pay a 10% early distribution penalty if you don’t qualify for an exception.

If you live in a federally declared disaster area, the 10% early withdrawal penalty for accounts up to $100,000 is waived.

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