SECURE 2.0 Act – Section 312. Employer May Rely On Employee Certifying That Deemed Hardship Distribution Conditions Are Met
Applicable Treasury regulations provide that hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans may be made on account of an immediate and heavy financial need or an unforeseeable emergency, if limited to the amount necessary to satisfy the financial need.
These needs are evaluated using facts and circumstances, but following are specific safe harbor events that are deemed to be on account of a hardship:
Medical care expenses for the employee, the employee’s spouse, dependents or beneficiary.
Costs directly related to the purchase of an employee’s principal residence (excluding mortgage payments).
Tuition, related educational fees and room and board expenses for the next 12 months of postsecondary education for the employee or the employee’s spouse, children, dependents or beneficiary.
Payments necessary to prevent the eviction of the employee from the employee’s principal residence or foreclosure on the mortgage on that residence.
Funeral expenses for the employee, the employee’s spouse, children, dependents, or beneficiary.
Certain expenses to repair damage to the employee’s principal residence.
Employees must provide a written representation that they have insufficient cash or liquid assets reasonably available to satisfy the need. In general, the employee must submit records documenting the safe harbor event constituting a hardship.
Section 312 of the SECURE 2.0 Act (SECURE 2.0) allows a plan administrator to rely on an employee’s self-certification that they have had a safe harbor event that constitutes a deemed hardship for purposes of taking a hardship withdrawal from a 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan.
The administrator can also rely on the employee’s certification that the distribution is not in excess of the amount required to satisfy the financial need and that the employee has no alternative means reasonably available to satisfy the financial need.
A similar rule applies for purposes of unforeseeable emergency distributions from governmental Section 457(b) plans.
This provision is effective for plan years beginning after December 29, 2022.
If you have any questions about SECURE 2.0, please contact a member of the Schneider Downs Retirement Solutions team at [email protected].
This article is part of a series highlighting the impact of the SECURE 2.0 on retirement plan sponsors, participants and retirees. You can view our full catalog of SECURE 2.0 articles here or download our comprehensive SECURE 2.0 eBook here.
About SECURE 2.0
SECURE 2.0 was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 29, 2022, as part of a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.
This massive piece of legislation builds on the foundation that was laid by the 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act to further improve upon the success of the private employer-based retirement system by making it easier for businesses to offer retirement plans and for individuals to save for retirement.
Schneider Downs Retirement Solutions has experience in all facets of qualified and non-qualified plan delivery, which allows us to be flexible to the needs and direction of our clients. Our specialized team of advisers and consultants provide objective advice and expertise to help plan sponsors govern their retirement plans appropriately, mitigate risk, improve participant outcomes and support efficient and compliant plan operations.
Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors, LP (SDWMA) is a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SDWMA provides fee-based investment management services and financial planning services, along with fee-based retirement advisory and consulting services. Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. Registration with the SEC does not imply any level of skill or training.
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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.