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Old 07-27-2007, 09:31 PM
357 posts, read 1,699,270 times
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Is this possible to tap into to put as a down payment on a home? How does this work?
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:06 AM
Location: Maple Valley, WA
980 posts, read 3,008,602 times
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Check this out:

Consulting a tax professional before accessing 403(b) money is highly recommended.

Another way to access 403(b) money early is to take out a loan. Though not all vendors oblige, loans are permitted from a 403(b). Many mutual funds do not allow loans. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that access to your funds is limited and you are less likely to take out a loan, thus allowing your money to continue to grow. The disadvantage is that you may really need the money and the only way to get it is through a hardship withdrawal which has tax consequences (explained below). Other rules governing loans exist but vary by vendor, so consult your vendor for details. You may also want to read this story on loans: The 403(b) Loan: The New Debtors Prison?.

Consulting a tax professional before taking out a 403(b) loan is highly recommended.

Under what circumstances may a hardship withdrawal be made?
This provision allows withdrawal of funds from a 403(b) if under severe financial distress. The participant must have no other resources available. A hardship withdrawal may be made for:

Un-reimbursed medical expenses of the participant or his/her spouse and dependents.

Down payment on primary residence.

Tuition and fees for higher education needs, and only for the next 12 months.

Eviction or foreclosure on your primary residence

Hardship withdrawals are not exempt from an IRS 10% penalty. Furthermore, withdrawals are subject to ordinary income taxation in the year withdrawn. To qualify you must certify that you have no other recourse, including the possibility of taking a loan. You also are prohibited from contributing to a 403(b) for the next six months. The IRS makes it tough to access money this way for a reason: they don't want you to use the 403(b) as a form of short term savings. For exact details on your situation it is recommended that you contact both your vendor and a tax professional before proceeding.

Also, while the IRS permits withdrawals, it is allowable for a plan sponsors (the employer) to not permit them. The employer has some responsibility in making hardship withdrawals. The employer has to "OK" the hardship, based on written information provided by the employee as to the nature of the hardship. The employer has to determine, based on the facts, whether the employee has an "immediate and heavy financial need."

Consulting a tax professional before making a hardship withdrawal is highly recommended
Here's the link:

403(b)wise : 403(b) FAQs
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