A:

Unfortunately, the conditions under which hardship withdrawals can be made from a qualified plan, including a 401(k) plan, are determined by the provisions in the plan document (as elected by the employer). Some plans will allow hardship withdrawals of all plan assets, while others will limit hardship withdrawals to assets attributed to salary deferral contributions.

You may want to ask the plan administrator or the employer for a copy of the summary plan description agreement (SPD); the SPD will include information about when and under what circumstances withdrawals can be made from your husband's 401(k) account. You can also ask to be provided with an explanation in writing.

If you feel that the information you received is incorrect, don't hesitate to ask to speak with a supervisor. Be sure to ask for information about when your husband would be eligible to receive distributions from the plan

If it's determined that your husband is not eligible to receive distributions from the plan at this time, ask about loan provisions. If the plan allows for loans, your husband may be able to borrow up to 50% of his account balance, or the full $8,000 under certain circumstances.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

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