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COVID-19 Distributions from Retirement Plans

By March 30, 2020 No Comments

The ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’, referred to as the ‘‘CARES Act’’, permits an Employer to amend its 401k or 403b Plan to allow a Plan participant to take a “special” withdrawal from the Plan, if the individual “experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off, or having work hours reduced due to” COVID-19. A self-employed business owner who closes or reduces the hours of the business also qualifies. The Plan may rely on the individual’s certification of adverse financial consequences. The distribution is penalty-free (i.e., no pre-age-59-1/2 early payment 10% tax) and may be taken up to $100,000 until December 31, 2020. Federal 20% income tax withholding does not apply. Partial or full “repayment” is permitted within three years of taking the distribution. Inclusion in taxable income (if not “repaid”) may be spread over up to three tax years. The feature is optional, therefore, ACSI is having the Employer sign a simple amendment to memorialize adopting the feature, and a subsequent more formal amendment will be prepared (as late as 2022, under the law) after IRS guidance is issued. ACSI (www.acsi-ny.com or mbrand@acsi-ny.com) is available to answer questions about COVID-19 distributions.