If your defined contribution retirement plan (e.g., 401k, 403b) offers the option for participants to withdraw funds through a hardship distribution provision, you should be aware of recent changes proposed by the IRS. Generally, the new distribution rules can be implemented for plan years beginning after December 31st, 2018, and many companies have already enacted the changes. These changes include the: 0004d737

  • Elimination of the requirement that a participant’s contributions be suspended for at least six months following the hardship distribution, and the prohibition against such suspensions for hardships distribution made on or after January 1, 2020;
  • Elimination of the requirement that a participant take all available loans before receiving a hardship distribution; and
  • Expansion of the sources from which a plan can permit hardship distributions, including qualified non-elective contributions (QNECs), qualified matching contributions (QMACs), employer safe harbor contributions, earnings thereon and earnings on deferral contributions.

It is worth noting that these changes, while currently allowed by the IRS, are still subject to additional revisions. Until the new rules are assigned a deadline date, the IRS reserves the right to make additional changes, so plan sponsors may consider postponing a plan amendment for the time being.

At DirectAdvisors, we help our clients evaluate their options to ensure they are making decisions that work for their company. If you have questions on the recent hardship withdrawal changes, or would like to discuss other options within your plan, please contact us by phone at (518) 362-2119 or email at info@directadvisors.com.