Unforeseeable Emergency WDs in 401(a)

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A governmental employer has a 457(b) plan that permits unforeseeable emergency withdrawals. They also have a 401(a) plan that matches deferrals from the 457(b) plan. The 401(a) plan wants to allow for unforeseeable emergency withdrawals. Is this permitted? I have only seen hardship withdrawals permitted in these plans. Thanks,

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A hardship withdrawal stamdard is actually a more lenient standard than unforeseeable emergency. It allows for things like tuition, purchase of a home, etc., which are foreseeable.

A governmental 401(a) plan can allow for the more lenient hardship withdrawal standard. If it wanted to, it could allow for only unforeseeable emergency withdrawals--nothing prevents you from not allowing withdrawals at all, or imposing a stricter standard than the law requires. It's just a question of them not wanting to.

Edited by Carol V. Calhoun

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