Taxes & Penalties on Distributions
Distributions are subject to income taxes and potential penalties in the year in which they are paid.
You may be able to defer taxes and avoid penalties by rolling over your distribution into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Roth IRA, to another 403(b) plan, to a governmental 457(b) plan, or to a 401(a) qualified employer plan in a direct rollover.
Taxes and Penalties
Your distribution may be subject to these income taxes and venalities.
- 10 percent for a financial hardship distribution unless you elect otherwise, or
- 20 percent for a plan distribution
This mandatory withholding applies to:
- Lump sum distributions greater than $200, and
- Annuities paid for less than 10 years
As a participant, you are responsible for all additional federal and state income taxes due in excess of the amount withheld.
Penalties on Distributions Made Before Age 59-½
Distributions made before you reach age 59-½ are subject to a 10 percent federal penalty tax in addition to income tax. This 10 percent penalty tax applies to all distributions made before you reach age 59-½ unless one of several exceptions apply. Common exceptions include:
- You retire at age 55 or older
- The distribution is in the form of regular payments for life with payments based on your life expectancy
- The distribution is attributed to your permanent disability or death
- The distribution was used for tax-deductible medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income
Rolling Over a Distribution to Another Plan
You may defer income taxes – and avoid the 10 percent early distribution penalty tax – on your SCRP distribution by rolling over your distribution:
- Before withholding, into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Roth IRA,
- To another employer-sponsored 403(b) retirement plan or 401(a) retirement plan as long as the new employer’s plan accepts rollovers from other plans, or
- To an eligible government deferred compensation plan that accepts rollovers from other plans.
A rollover must occur within 60 days of receipt of the distribution.
For more information on taxes, penalties and rollovers:
- Refer to the Stanford document "When Your Employment Ends—Retirement"
- Visit the IRS website
- Contact a tax advisor