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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

Supplement to
November 16, 2012
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BULLETIN

Supplement to November 16, 2012

 

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Announcement 2012-44: Special Rules for Loans and Distributions From Retirement Plans to Hurricane Sandy Victims (PDF)
"This announcement provides relief to taxpayers who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy and have retirement assets in qualified employer plans they would like to use to alleviate hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy. In addition, this announcement provides relief from certain verification procedures that may be required under retirement plans with respect to loans and hardship distributions. The relief provided under this announcement is in addition to the relief already provided by the Service pursuant to News Release IR-2012-83 under Section 7508A of the Internal Revenue Code for victims of Hurricane Sandy.... For purposes of this announcement, a 'qualified employer plan' means a plan or contract meeting the requirements of Section 401(a), 403(a) or 403(b), and, for purposes of the hardship relief, which could, if it contained enabling language, make hardship distributions. For purposes of this paragraph, a 'qualified employer plan' also means a plan described in Section 457(b) maintained by an eligible employer described in Section 457(e)(1)(A), and any hardship arising from Hurricane Sandy is treated as an 'unforeseeable emergency' for purposes of distributions from such plans. For example, a profit-sharing or stock bonus plan that currently does not provide for hardship or other in-service distributions may nevertheless make Sandy-related hardship distributions pursuant to this announcement, except from QNEC or QMAC accounts or from earnings on elective contributions[.]" (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]

Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Sandy Victims
"401(k) plan participants, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, and state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules. Though IRA participants are barred from taking out loans, they may be eligible to receive distributions under liberalized procedures. Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in the disaster area. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Feb. 1, 2013." (Internal Revenue Service)



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