There are circumstances where early withdrawals from a Roth IRA are penalty-free, states Fidelity. However, there are specific requirements to meet in order to withdraw funds, including the age of the Roth IRA and the age of the account holder.
According to Fidelity, a Roth IRA must have been open for five years in order to meet the aging requirement for the account. The criteria for a penalty-free early withdrawal from a Roth IRA are that the individual is over the age of 59 1/2, the withdrawal is associated with death or disability, or the funds are to be used for a qualifying first-time home purchase. Only one of these three conditions must be met in addition to the IRA age requirement. Early withdrawals that do not meet these requirements may be subject to penalties.