DEFINITION of 'Substantially Equal Periodic Payment - SEPP'

A plan that allows individuals who have invested in an IRA or another qualified retirement plan to withdraw funds prior to the age of 59.5 and avoid income tax and early-withdrawal penalties. Typically, an individual who removes assets from a plan prior to age 59.5 will face taxes on any income generated by the fund - interest income or capital gain - and will also be subject to a 10% penalty. With substantially equal periodic payments, the funds are placed into an SEPP plan that pays the individual annual distributions for five years or until he or she turns 59.5, whichever comes last.

BREAKING DOWN 'Substantially Equal Periodic Payment - SEPP'

Because the IRS requires individuals to continue the SEPP program for a minimum of five years, this is not a solution for those who seek penalty-free short-term access to retirement funds. If you cancel the plan before the minimum holding period expires, you will be required to pay the IRS all the penalties that were waived on amounts taken under the program, plus interest. SEPP programs are not permitted under employee-sponsored qualified plans, such as 401(k) plans.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. I stopped distributions from my retirement account while under Rule 72(t). Will this ...

    If an individual modifies a substantially equal periodic payment (SEPP), including discontinuing the SEPP before the end ... Read Answer >>
  2. Will I incur a tax penalty when making withdrawls from my IRA in excess of my SEPP?

    Unfortunately, the IRA is "locked" for five years because of the requirement that the substantially equal periodic payment ... Read Answer >>
  3. Once substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP) of an IRA have started, is the ...

    Typically, if you withdraw assets from an IRA or a qualified retirement plan sponsored by your employer while under the age ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are the "certain requirements" that must be met for substantially equal periodic ...

    For substantially equal periodic payments (SEPPs), the distributions would occur from your IRA after you rollover the assets. ... Read Answer >>
  5. I understand that I can withdraw from a 401k the year I turn 55 without the 10% penalty ...

    You are referring to the rule that states that distributions from your qualified plan (including 401k, profit sharing, money ... Read Answer >>
  6. Do I have to continue SEPPs for an inherited IRA?

    You may discontinue the payments. Once the person who is taking the substantially equal periodic payment (SEPP) dies or becomes ... Read Answer >>
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