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Williams College Retirement Income Plan

Retirement Plan . | . Human Resources

Withdrawals Prior to Separation from Service

In general, a Participant is not eligible to receive distributions from the Plan while actively employed by the College, unless permitted to do so under the terms of a partial or phased early retirement agreement or plan. Employees may, however, access funds prior to these terms in certain specific circumstances as outlined below.


A Participant may borrow against his or her Participant contributions, subject to certain restrictions, including minimum amounts. The maximum loan that can be outstanding at the time a loan is made shall be the lesser of 45% or $50,000 of the Participant's total accumulation in his or her Participant Contribution Account (including earnings). Loans must be repaid in five years, or ten years if used to purchase a primary residence.

Age 59-1/2 Withdrawals

A Participant may withdraw from the Plan amounts allocated to a Supplemental Retirement Annuity for any reason after attaining age 59-1/2.

A Participant may withdraw from the Plan his or her own contributions that are allocated to a Retirement Annuity for any reason after attaining age 59-1/2. 

Employer contributions are not permitted to be withdrawn from the Plan while the Participant remains employed by the College.

Hardship Withdrawals

A Participant may elect to receive, while still working, after taking the full amount of any loans from the Plan (see above), the portion of his or her own contributions (exclusive of investment earnings) the amount necessary to satisfy an immediate and heavy financial "hardship." This means expenses arising from one of the following:

  • Costs directly related to the purchase of the Participant's principal residence (excluding mortgage payments).
  • Payments to prevent the eviction from or foreclosure upon the Participant's principal residence.
  • Tuition payments for the next 12-months for college or postgraduate education for the Participant or his or her spouse, children or dependents.
  • Medical expenses incurred by the Participant or his or her spouse, children or dependents.
  • Funeral expenses for a family member.
  • Expenses for repair of damage to the Participant's principal residence that would qualify for the casualty deduction.

A Participant cannot qualify for a hardship withdrawal unless he or she has taken the maximum loan available (see above). In general, a 10% penalty tax, in addition to ordinary income tax, will be assessed on the amount withdrawn if the participant has not reached 59-1/2.

A consequence of making a hardship withdrawal is that a Participant may not make contributions to the Plan for the 6-month period following the withdrawal.

Retirement Plan . | . Human Resources