How Do You Make a Withdrawal From a 401(k)?

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To make a withdrawal from a 401(k) retirement plan, borrowers must contact the human resource office of the employer or the investment company hosting the plan, complete a withdrawal form and provide reasons for the withdrawal if younger than 59 1/2. Fees may apply when withdrawing funds early.

As of Oct. 2014, individuals withdrawing prior to retirement age can request a hardship withdrawal to cover the cost of medical expenses, school tuition, funeral costs, a home purchase or to prevent eviction or foreclosure. When withdrawing from a 401(k) plan for a hardship loan, the borrower is subject to a 10 percent IRS penalty and income taxes.