Penalty Free Early Withdrawals for Qualified Public Safety Employees

May 12, 2023 | 2023, Retirement Plan Law

The Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act of 2015 revised the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to re-define the description of “qualified public safety employees” to include Federal law enforcement officers, Federal firefighters, customs and border protection officers, and air traffic controllers. Such employees are now allowed to take withdrawals without penalty from employer sponsored retirement plans after separating from service and after age 50.

This bill also added inclusive qualifications permitting disbursements from non-governmental defined benefit plans as well as defined contribution plans or other governmental plans, such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

SECURE 2.0 Act Expands Qualified Public Safety Employee Definition

Private sector firefighters who are receiving disbursements from a qualified retirement plan or 403(b) plan are now eligible for the age 50 early withdrawal rule described above. This is effective for distributions made after December 29, 2022.


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