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The federal government is waving penalties and making other accommodations for those who need to access retirement savings early.
Through the end of 2020, the CARES Act allows a new type of hardship withdrawal for participants in 401(k)-type defined contribution plans or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) who are affected by COVID-19. The new coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) is not subject to the 10 percent early-distribution penalty and may be repaid over three years. Distributions may not exceed $100,000 per eligible participant.
Income taxes will still be owed on withdrawn amounts, but the law also lets individuals pay tax on the CRD income over a three-year period. Those repayments would not be subject to annual retirement plan contribution limits.
The waiving of the ten percent penalty applies retroactively to withdrawals beginning January 1, 2020, for account holders if:
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