Are 457 Plan Withdrawals Taxable?

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Are 457 Plan Withdrawals Taxable?

Contributions to 457 programs grow tax-deferred until withdrawn or rolled over at retirement. Regardless of the participant’s age, all withdrawals are taxed. All contributions to 457 plans, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, grow tax-free, but early withdrawals are not penalized.

Key Takeaways

  • A 457 plan is one of numerous retirement plans available to employees, although it is less popular and more complicated than a 401(k) or 403(b) (b).
  • Most private firms have 401(k) plans, whereas public school systems and other organizations provide 403(b) plans.
  • Withdrawals are permitted upon retirement, termination of employment, or for qualifying financial problems.
  • 457(b) plans are primarily intended for local and state government workers, while 457(f) plans are intended for non-government or highly paid government personnel.
  • 457(b) plans may be folded into eligible retirement accounts like IRAs.

457 Plans

Notably, 457 plans are not qualified plans and do not have the same rollover and distribution restrictions as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Initially, 457 plans were exclusively offered to workers of state and local governments, entities, and 501(c)3 organizations.

With fewer limitations, more firms may now offer 457 programs in addition to other retirement plans. If you qualify, you may contribute to both a 457 plan and a Roth IRA, potentially saving more money for retirement than if you just invested in one account.

Under certain conditions, members may withdraw from their 457(b) plan prior to retirement or separation from work. A distributable event is a financial difficulty caused by sickness or illness, accidents, property losses from natural catastrophes, funeral expenditures, evictions or foreclosures, or other unanticipated situations.

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The IRS compels 457(b) members to take a required minimum distribution when they reach the age of 72 (or 70 1/2 if they reach the age of 70 1/2 before January 1, 2020).

Differences Compared With 401(k) and 403(b) Plans

Unlike 403(b) and 401(k) funds, members in 457 plans may receive regular withdrawals as soon as they retire, regardless of age. These payouts are taxed as ordinary income, but the 10% early withdrawal penalty does not apply. Participants may roll over their 457 plans into qualifying retirement plans, such as an IRA, rather than withdrawing cash.

You can have a 457 plan, a Roth IRA, and a Roth 457. A Roth 457 plan enables you to make after-tax contributions to the plan and pay no taxes on eligible distributions when the money is taken.


Participants may contribute to their 457(b) retirement plan, but only up to a certain amount. Employees may donate the maximum of their wage or $20,500 in 2022 ($19,500 in 2021). Employees aged 50 and over may make an extra $6,500 catch-up contribution.

Some plans let members approaching retirement to make greater or unique catch-up payments. Participants may make an extra contribution equivalent to the annual IRS contribution maximum or the amount of what they did not contribute in prior years for three years before the usual retirement age, whichever is less, for three years before the typical retirement age. In other words, no member may contribute more than $41,000 in 2022. (twice the annual contribution limit).

Special Considerations

As the only non-qualified group plans accessible in the United States, 457 programs are one-of-a-kind and sophisticated, providing various benefits over more commonly utilized deferred compensation plans.

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Despite the fact that more firms are providing 457 plans every year, they are not widespread. There are several sorts of 457 plans, each with unique features; they are classified as governmental or non-governmental, as well as eligible or ineligible. Qualified plans are classified as 457(b); ineligible plans are classified as 457(f), and they do not provide many of the same advantages as eligible plans.

The most frequent of the 457 plans, 457 (b), are qualifying deferred compensation programs offered to state and local government workers. Participants are restricted in terms of how much they may donate and when distributions can occur. Taxes are postponed until the account is distributed.

457(f) plans are non-qualified deferred compensation plans offered to high-wage government employees and select non-government employees. Most plans only accept employer contributions; however, unlike the 457(b), no contribution restrictions apply. Taxation is postponed until there is no major chance of forfeiture. In other words, regardless of whether payments are paid, the employee’s benefit is included in their gross income when fully vested.

How Is a 457 Withdrawal Taxed?

A 457 withdrawal is taxed as regular income and is not subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal.

Are 457 Withdrawals Considered Earned Income When Collecting Social Security?

457 payouts are not considered earned income and will have no impact on social security payments.

When Can You Withdraw From a 457 Plan Without Penalty?

Withdrawals from a 457 plan may be made at any time without incurring an IRS penalty.

How Can I Avoid Paying Taxes on a 457 Withdrawl?

Withdrawals from 457 retirement plans are subject to ordinary income taxation. Distributions from an ROTH 457 plan, on the other hand, are not subject to tax withholding. In addition, 457 plan members may transfer monies to other qualifying plans. Rollovers, with the exception of ROTH IRAs, are not taxable events.

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The Bottom Line

Employees may participate in 457 programs, which are non-qualified deferred compensation schemes. Contributions grow tax-deferred until dispersed or, in the case of 457(f) plans, when the employee is completely vested. The IRS, like other retirement funds, restricts the amount that may be donated each year. Withdrawals, on the other hand, are not subject to the 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty, making the 457 an appealing retirement vehicle.

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