Will a 401(k) withdrawal hurt my unemployment benefits?

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Q. I was looking to take a COVID 401(k) withdrawal. Do I have to claim this with my unemployment benefits?
— Planning ahead

A. We’re sorry to hear you’re out of work.

You will not need to claim a 401(k) withdrawal on your unemployment benefits.

Distributions from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k) or IRA would not affect your ability to claim benefits, said Kenneth Van Leeuwen, a certified financial planner with Van Leeuwen & Company in Princeton.

He said as you consider taking a 401(k) withdrawal to supplement your income, it’s important to understand the requirements to qualify for a coronavirus-related withdrawal.

“The CARES Act allows individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 from a 401(k) without penalty if they meet certain requirements,” he said.

Before the passing of the CARES Act, early withdrawals from a 401(k) account incurred a 10% penalty. The CARES Act has temporarily suspended the 10% penalty for those impacted by COVID-19.

“To qualify, you, your spouse or dependent must be diagnosed with COVID-19 or have experienced financial hardship as a result of being quarantined, laid off or furloughed, having work hours reduced, or being unable to work due to a lack of childcare,” he said. “From a tax perspective, the CARES Act has allowed coronavirus-related withdrawals to be taxed over a three-year period, instead of incurring the entire tax burden in the year that the distribution is taken.”

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This story was originally published on Nov. 4, 2020.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.