Can I withdraw money from my GuideStone retirement account due to a hardship?

Depending upon your specific situation and retirement plan, a hardship withdrawal may be an option to withdraw some of your retirement funds early, before reaching a standard retirement age (age 59 1/2) or terminating employment. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, only a portion of your contributions into the retirement account may be eligible to be taken as a hardship withdrawal. To check on your eligibility for a hardship withdrawal, please contact us.

Generally speaking, a hardship withdrawal may be available if you are using the funds for one of the following circumstances:

1) College tuition
Note: You must request the hardship withdrawal prior to the start of the semester.

2) Medical expenses

3) Prevention of foreclosure or eviction from primary residence

4) Purchase of a primary residence

5) Funeral expenses

6) Expenses for the repair of damages to primary residence that would qualify for casualty deduction on federal income tax return

7) Other circumstances as established by the Secretary of the Treasury or pursuant to applicable Treasury regulations that are deemed as immediate and heavy financial needs with respect to elective contributions

Please keep in mind that you must exhaust all means of withdrawal from your account before taking a hardship. This means you would need to take a loan (if one is available to you) and take any money available for a normal in-service withdrawal before being eligible for the hardship withdrawal. However, if taking a loan would cause you greater financial hardship, you can check "No" on part 2C of the Certification of Financial Need and include a note to that effect out to the side. Please also note that although the funds are available for withdrawal due to hardship, the tax consequences are the same in most cases, with a few exceptions. This means that if you withdraw funds while under the age of 59 1/2, you may still be required to pay the 10% early withdrawal penalty when you file your income tax. We recommend speaking to a competent tax advisor before deciding to take your withdrawal.

To apply for a hardship withdrawal, fill out the Certification of Financial Need, as well as an In-Service Withdrawal Application. Please contact us for assistance and to determine your eligibility for a hardship withdrawal.

Important: Please note that when a hardship withdrawal is taken, you will not be eligible to contribute to your retirement plan for 6 months.

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