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April 3, 2009

In-service Withdrawal

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A withdrawal (distribution) which is made from a qualified plan or 403(b) account while the account owner is still working for the plan sponsor (the employer that sponsors the plan). Generally, distributions cannot be made from a qualified plan or 403(b) account unless the participant experiences a triggering event (distributable event) such as reaching retirement age ( though still employed by the plan sponsor) or reaching age 59 ½ (even if still employed by the plan sponsor). However, some plans allow participants who have not experienced a triggering event to make withdrawals; these are referred to as In-service withdrawals.
Key Considerations
  • Participants cannot make withdrawals from pension plans unless a triggering event has occurred
  • Some inservice withdrawals are permitted only from 403(b) plans, 401(k) plans and profit sharing plans
  • Some plans that permit in-service withdrawals limit such withdrawals to hardship
  • Hardship withdrawals are not rollover eligible.
  • In-service withdrawals; cannot be made from salary deferral contributions, unless the participant is at least age 59 ½, or the withdrawal is due to hardship
More Information
For more information about in-service withdrawals see:

In-service Withdrawal (definition)

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.

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