Can I Take a Lump-Sum Distribution From my Cash-Balance Plan?

Absolutely – this is what separates them from traditional pension plans. Yes.

Cash balance plans maintain a hypothetical account balance for the participant, and the ending balance is known and guaranteed from the time the contributions occur. Many participants opt to take this lump sum balance and move it into their own IRA, or just to pay the taxes on it and be done with the plan.

The other option is to have the balance paid out in the form of a life annuity, with equal payments for the rest of your life like a traditional pension. This option can be more risky simply because it is forfeiting the safety and security of monthly payments for life, in favor of a one-time distribution.

If you choose this option, make sure to plan your spending in a practical and forward-looking way.

What Should I Do With a Lump-Sum Distribution From My Cash-Balance Plan?
How do I allocate my assets in retirement?
Can I Take a Periodic Distribution From My Cash-Balance Plan?