I am 52 and taking an early retirement package with my company. If I would have worked until 55 I would not have to pay the 10% early retirement penalty on my 401k. If I begin to take distribution now under the Substantially Equal Payment rules, will I still be exempt from the 10% penalty when I turn 55?
Answer: Once you start taking retirement distributions under the "Substantially Equal Payment" rules, you must continue to take them for five years or age 59½, which ever is the longest. Therefore, you can not change the distribution method when you reach age 55 and still be exempt from the 10% penalty.
This is for educational purposes only. The information provided here is intended to help you understand the general issue and does not constitute any tax, investment or legal advice. Consult your financial, tax or legal advisor regarding your own unique situation and your company's benefits representative for rules specific to your plan.
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