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New Covid Aid Law Waives 10% Penalty On Pre-59½ Retirement Plan Withdrawals

The new $900 billion Covid relief package is the fifth major federal law enacted in response to the COVID pandemic and economic crisis, and the first since April. Apart from funding the new relief, Congress sensibly expanded on previous aid legislation by targeting individuals, families, and small businesses hit hardest financially.

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A major change in the new aid package allows withdrawal of up to $100,000 from your retirement plan penalty-free, even if you’re less than age 59½. Normally, a 10% federal tax penalty is assessed on distributions from a qualified retirement plan if you’re younger than 59½, but the penalty is waived in 2021.

If your financial situation improves, you may restore the withdrawn amount for up to three years. So it’s like loaning yourself money for up to three years. Of course, you lose the compound growth on that money.

Withdrawals from a retirement account is never a great idea, even if it is a loan that you pay back. However, if you are not meeting your expenses and in danger of losing your home, a withdrawal or loan may be a good option.

If you are withdrawing money from a retirement account before age 59½ to keep your business from bankruptcy or for some other reason, it’s wise to assess the risk versus reward with a critical eye. Business owners sometimes need an objective opinion to avoid chasing a dead dream, and qualified retirement plan assets are not subject to creditor claims in the event your business goes bankrupt.

Feel free to ask us about the new Covid relief rules permitting penalty-free withdrawals of up to $100,000 on qualified retirement plans before you’re 59½, or if you are weighing the risk and reward of a pre-59½ retirement plan withdrawal.

Nothing contained herein is to be considered a solicitation, research material, an investment recommendation, or advice of any kind, and it is subject to change without notice. It does not take into account your investment objectives, financial or tax situation, or particular needs. Product suitability must be independently determined for each individual investor. Tax advice always depends on your particular personal situation and preferences. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete, and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. Any investments or strategies referenced herein do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not a guarantee of future results.


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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Blattel & Associates and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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