401k Hardship Withdrawal Letter [Free Sample]

Learn More

While you are still employed, you will not be able to access funds in your employer-sponsored retirement plan. In the event of a genuine financial emergency, however, the Internal Revenue Service’s tax code allows for hardship withdrawals.

hardship withdrawals

Because the IRS does not require employers to make hardship withdrawals available to employees, your employer is not required to approve them. If your workplace permits hardship withdrawals, you must prepare a letter explaining why you require the funds. 

You should also present documentary evidence to your employer to back up your claim. For your hardship letter, use our sample 401k hardship withdrawal letter as a template.

401k Hardship Withdrawal Letter Sample

Your Name
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code


Designated Person’s Name
Designated Person’s Position
Company’s Name
Company’s Address
City, State, Zip Code

RE: Request for a withdrawal from 401k account number NUMBER

Dear Designated Person’s Name:

This letter is a formal request for a ($20,000) withdrawal from my 401k account due to unanticipated medical bills for my wife. 

Fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000) is now in the account. I have filled out and included all of the necessary forms for this request.

My wife needed emergency surgery for a benign tumor in her stomach, which she had. My health insurance covered the surgery, but she won’t be able to return to work for another three months, reducing our income.

If you grant my request, we will be able to keep up with our mortgage payments and avoid falling behind, which could lead to foreclosure. 

Even when my wife is able to work, I tried to secure a loan to meet the bills, but the interest payments were too much of a strain for our income.

I’ve attached a copy of my wife’s medical records. You can reach me at Email Address or Phone Number if you have any questions. Thank you so much for taking the time to think about my request.


Your Name
List of Enclosures: Proper Forms, Medical Report

interesting finds