General Information on Financial Hardship Withdrawals


If you are under the age of 59 with an account under the optional retirement plan [governed by Internal Revenue Code 403(b)], you are eligible to request a Financial Hardship Withdrawal provided you meet the criteria shown below. You may not repay the amount taken as a hardship to your account. If you are over age 59, you can make withdrawals without using this procedure.

Before You Request a Distribution

The following criteria must be met before you may request a distribution from either your TIAA-CREF contract or Fidelity account. In accordance with Federal regulations [Internal Revenue Code 213(d)], the contributions you have made (principal only, not the earnings on those contributions) may be withdrawn for the following reasons:

How to Request a Distribution

If you are under age 59 and wish to withdraw funds from your 403(b) account at either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity, you must complete, sign, and date the following forms and return them to your local campus benefits office along with the appropriate documentation:


In general, before requesting a Hardship Withdrawal, you should consult your personal tax advisor as to the tax consequences for this type of distribution. The funds you receive will be taxable for federal and state income tax purposes in the year it is received, and can be subject to an additional 10 percent Federal income tax penalty. At the time of the withdrawal you can choose to have Fidelity or TIAA-CREF withhold taxes on the withdrawal amount. At the end of the calendar year in which you took the withdrawal, you will receive a 1099R to be filed with your tax return for the year. In order to determine if the hardship is subject to the additional 10 percent penalty, you should also complete IRS Form 5329 or consult a tax advisor.

Receiving your Withdrawal

Once The Research Foundation of SUNY central office approves your withdrawal, they will notify your campus benefits administrator with the amount authorized. You should then get the required forms from the investment company from which you are making the withdrawal and complete them with the amount authorized by central office. These should be given to your campus benefits administrator for sign-off. They will send your forms to either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity for processing. Items of note when requesting a hardship: