The Bipartisan Budget of Act of 2018 and the final regulations enacted several changes to hardship withdrawal rules for qualified retirement plans, including:
- Permitting amounts contributed as qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) or qualified matching contributions (QMACs) to be available for hardship distributions.
- Elimination of the need to exhaust plan loans prior to taking a hardship distribution.
- Allowing a general standard to be used to determine if a hardship distribution is necessary to satisfy the financial needs of a participant.
- Permitting hardship distributions to repair a primary residence, even if that repair would not otherwise qualify for a casualty loss deduction.
Plan sponsors also may need to adopt other retirement plan amendments by Dec. 31, 2021, if they made plan changes during 2021.