401(k) withdrawals

Question: Has the law been changed to allow employees vested under an employer pension plan (401K) to withdraw up to $10,000 without penalty? I am 51 years of age and I have been working for the same company for 28 years. Thank you for your attention and your time. Madeline, Miami, FL

Answer: No, the rules weren't changed. The proposal to allow for penalty-free withdrawal from a 401(k)-type retirement savings plan was one of many options debated in the weeks leading up to the fiscal stimulus package. It never really gained traction. Since you're under 59 ½ you would pay a 10% penalty of the withdrawal, plus ordinary income taxes--a big hit to savings.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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