IRS to grant access to retirement accounts for flood relief
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it will grant the regulatory waiver requested by Sen. Bill Cassidy that will allow those impacted by the flood early access to retirement funds without penalty.
“This hardship waiver will be critical for helping Louisianans get back on their feet quickly,” Cassidy said. “As so many of those affected in this area did not have flood insurance, every tool possible needs to be implemented to allow them access to much needed emergency funds.”
According to Sen. Cassidy’s office, the hardship waiver will be in effect until Jan. 17, 2017 in order to allow flood victims access to emergency funds to account for recent losses.
Cassidy’s letter to the IRS urges the agency to allow flood victims to access their retirement funds quickly “without bureaucratic red-tape hurdles.” The letter says the funds would include, but not be limited to, streamlined loan procedures for liberalized hardship distribution waivers for 401(k) plan participants, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, and state and local government employees with 457 deferred-compensation plans.
Sen. Cassidy points out that similar regulatory waivers were afforded to individuals in the wakes of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. The Senator calls the measure a “basic relief tool that is immediately needed during the recovery from recent flooding in Louisiana.”