Withdrawals and Distributions

All withdrawals and distributions from the plan are subject to federal and state taxes. You may be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty if you make a withdrawal before age 59 ½. In addition, the federal government requires that 20 percent of your withdrawal be withheld as a prepayment of your federal income tax due on the taxable portion of the withdrawal. This 20 percent withholding requirement does not apply to direct rollovers to an IRA or a new employer's retirement plan.

Generally, withdrawals and distributions from your employee contributory amount may commence upon the occurrence of any one of the following events:

  • Your disability, as defined in Section 72(m)(7) of the IRS Code,
  • Your retirement,
  • Your death,
  • Your attainment of age 59 ½,
  • Your termination of employment with Duke, or
  • Your encounter of a financial hardship as defined in the IRS Code and relevant regulations.

The funds that Duke contributes towards eligible faculty and monthly paid staff may be withdrawn only upon separation from service, retirement, death or attainment of age 67. These funds are referred to as an employer contributory amount and are subject to any restriction, limitation, or fee contained in the contract or agreement.

Contact your investment carrier(s) to request a withdrawal and for complete details about tax implications.

Hardship Distributions

Hardship distributions are only available through Fidelity. You may request a hardship distribution from the contributions you have through Fidelity provided that certain IRS requirements are met for this type of distribution. Please reference the Instructions for requesting a Hardship Distribution.

Loan Distributions

Loan distributions are only available through Fidelity. You may take out a loan against your contributions to the plan. When you take out a loan, you are simply borrowing money from your retirement plan account. You will repay the loan amount and interest to Fidelity on a monthly basis. The interest you pay on the loan is not tax deductible. However, there are no taxes or penalties unless you default on the loan. If you default on your repayments, you will be taxed as if the outstanding balance of your loan was distributed to you and might possibly include a 10 percent penalty, if you are under the age of 59 ½. Contact Fidelity to apply for a loan. Learn more about the Duke loan program.

How to Request a Withdrawal, Hardship or Loan Distributions from the Plan

You may request a withdrawal from your 403(b) retirement plan by contacting your investment carrier(s) directly. Loans and hardship distributions are only available through Fidelity and can only be taken from the contributions that you put into the plan at Fidelity. Contact Fidelity to request a loan or hardship distribution.