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  • Writer's pictureJanice Carnevale


The most common question we get from plan participants on a daily basis is if they can withdraw some or all of the money that is in their retirement plan. While the definitive answer to this question is unique to the rules of each plan, there are some general options that are available to many participants. To get us started, we have one important question: Do you still work at the company associated with the plan? Click Yes or No to get more information about your retirement plan withdrawal options. Or maybe… it’s complicated.

Full time vs part time

We have plan participants who leave their full time positions, but remain employees with the company on a part-time or pooled basis. This means that they are still employees, and are restricted to the withdrawal options available to employees. So – yes, you still work there.

Federal Disability designation

If you are already officially on “Disability” with the Department of Labor, great! You likely qualify for a regular withdrawal, similar to a non employee. If you are in the process of acquiring this designation, you might qualify to do a regular withdrawal – plans may use different definitions of disability.

Post script – should you take out your money? We aren’t advisors, so we can’t technically tell you what to do. But the longer you are able to leave your money in a retirement plan or IRA, the more it can grow and you will be glad you have it when it is time for you to retire. The IRS penalizes you (10% of cash withdrawals!) for withdrawing before age 59.5 because they want you to save for retirement too.


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