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Can I Withdraw Money From My Cash-Balance Plan?

It’s not likely that a cash-balance plan will allow for early withdrawals. Generally speaking, you can’t withdraw money from a Cash-Balance Plan before you retire unless it is to roll over assets to a new employer’s plan or a personal IRA.

Once the money is in another account, you could potentially have full access to it, minus the 10% IRS penalty if you’re under 59 ½. Loans from a cash balance plan may be permitted if they abide by the same rules as 401(k) loans — and if the IRS and the DOL will allow you to consider your vested amount in your hypothetical account as adequate collateral.

Your plan sponsor or administrator may not have put loan provisions into the plan document, however, so this may not be an option. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until retirement to take either a lump-sum distribution, which can be rolled into an IRA to avoid taxation on the entire amount at once, or an income stream like a traditional pension or annuity.

What Happens If I Withdraw Money From My Cash-Balance Plan Before I Retire?
What Happens If I Withdraw Money From my Cash-Balance Plan After I Retire?

Keywords: taxation, retirement accounts, IRS, 10% early withdrawal penalty, qualified withdrawals, DOL, qualified plan distributions and withdrawals, defined benefit plan loans,