Q: Can you get your Indiana Carpenters Annuity Fund (not pension), during hard times? We are about to lose our house!
We NEED that money and they said to write a letter of hardship and it would be brought up at the quarterly meeting. We did just that and we paid $18.00 to send it priority, they signed for it and DIDN'T bring it up at the quarterly meeting!!!! This may have been our last chance before our house goes into forclosure, which, by the way, we have been paying for for 12 years and didn't run into too much trouble until my husband was layed off after working as a foreman for 10 straight years! I feel that they have put us in this position and now that we need help, they won't even give us SOME of the money out of our annuity to catch up our mortgage and keep our home. I was just wondering if there was any loophole or anything that we can do to get some of our annuity. I just want to make it clear that this annuity is NOT our main retirement plan. It is a secondary plan forced on us by the union. This is NOT our pension, it is simply an annuity. Thanks for your time!
A: While the Internal Revenue Code does permit, in order to maintain tax-qualified status, some plans to allow for certain hardship distributions (e.g., 401(k) plans), it is unusual for a defined benefit or annuity-type plan to provide for such distributions. If this plan so provides, whether or not you can take the hardship distribution depends on whether you meet the plan's definition of "hardship." Plans are not required to offer hardship withdrawals, but if they do the plan can be more restrictive about what is a "hardship" than otherwise permitted under the Tax Code.
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