Why can't I close out and withdraw from my 401k? Any way out?
June 9, 2008 7:02 PM Subscribe
I want to close out my 401k (and pay the necessary taxes) so I can pay off some debt. My 401k says I'm not allowed. Why not? Can I change anyone's mind?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total)
I have relatively minor credit card debt n. I have meager 401k savings n. (I am only 23). I would like to pay off my credit card, and be putting the money I'm currently putting toward monthly credit card payments toward more immediately accessible savings. Additionally, my company has as of last month decided to start matching 401k contributions, so I'd rather be putting matched money in than letting the $n sit there doing not much in the stock market while I continue to accrue credit card interest. However, I can't put money in until I'm not worried about paying off credit cards.
So I called my 401k people (Fidelity) to ask to take the withdrawal. They said I can't. I said, are you seriously telling me I can't have my money? And they said that since I'm still at my current company, I can't do anything with it until I'm fired or leave voluntarily. I've got a while before I'm planning on either of those. What the hell? It's my money, isn't it? We wants it :(
The other option is to take out a loan, but I'm only eligible to take out loan n/2, and paying back loan + interest plus paying off the other half of credit card debt won't really solve my problem. My goal is to wipe out the debt, be able to start contributing small (matched) amounts to retirement, and separately do a better job of keeping an accessible savings account with monthly contributions.
So, question 1: Why can't I take out my money? What's the reason behind this? And is it likely that by arguing in a different way I could get it? I'm fully aware of and willing to pay the necessary taxes if they'll just let me get at the money.
Question 2: Any other options for what I'm trying to do?
(Anonymous because I don't want this connected to the real name I use on here)