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Public Safety Employees Beware

Stop taking withdraws from your retirement accountsOn June 29, 2015, Congress enacted a new Public Law (H.R. 2146) entitled, “Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act.” The law takes effect January 1, 2016 and amends the IRS Code to allow active and retired Public Safety Employees, Federal Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers who are over 50 years old and with at least 20 years of service the ability to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without incurring the usual 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

Funds withdrawn prior to January 1, 2016 are not covered.

This bill was enacted in recognition of two facts:

Individuals aren’t saving enough to live effectively in retirement

Wages continue to stagnate while the cost of living continues to rise.

Is H.R. 2146 a Trojan horse? The law allows complete access to pension plan savings, 401k retirement funds, and 457 funds any time after an Officer turns 50, not just for, say, medical emergencies. This gives the wrong idea that funds can be withdrawn when the goal is to use the funds for retirement.

Don't get caught in the retirement gap

There are a few solutions to the early retirement problems:

  1. Do not withdraw funds from your retirement accounts to make sure that you have the proper retirement funds for your situation.
  2. Plan properly for retirement and have at least two different retirement accounts open and active to be able to save retirement funds effectively.
  3. Talk to a financial advisor about the Social Security option that is best for you to be able to make the right decision when you go to collect.
  4. Revise your financial plan on a frequent basis to guarantee yourself an early

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