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When can I withdraw assets from my qualified plan or 403(b) account?

Last Updated June 4, 2013

Question: 

When can I withdraw assets from my qualified plan or 403(b) account?

Answer: 

Generally, you can make withdrawals from these accounts only if you experience a triggering event. Triggering events are defined under the plan document or agreement. For instance, a plan may require that you reach the age of 59 ½ and/or terminate from employment with the employer in order to be eligible to make a withdrawal from the plan. Some plans are designed to allow in-service withdrawals, which allow you to make withdrawals before experiencing a traditional triggering event. In-service withdrawals may be limited to hardship situations, which would be defined under the plan. As such, you must check with the plan administrator or in the case of a 403(b) the custodian or annuity provider, to determine whether you are eligible to withdraw amounts from the plan. Hardship distribution amounts are not rollover-eligible.