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Again I am told the funds can be withdrawn without tax penalty -
the funds must be in the 401K - cannot be rolled over into an IRA, you
must be 55 or over, and you must be separated from the company.

If you "separate from the company" during or after the year you turn 55, this is correct. You cannot "separate from the company" before the year in which you turn 55 and then use this exception when you turn 55.

The OP in this thread indicated that her and her DH's ages when "separating from the company" were expected to be 50 and 53. In those cases, the OP and her DH would not be able to use this exception to access their 401(k)s at age 55, which is what they were planning on doing.

I am still planning on referring this to one other CPA who knows
more about tax implications - since another poster indicated that
the interpretation was not correct.

I don't see anywhere in this thread where that interpretation you gave was said to be 'not correct' - only where additional caveats were added.

To make things clear, the two ways discussed in this thread to withdraw funds from your 401(k) without penalty before age 59 1/2 are:

(1) separate from the company in or after the year you turn 55, or
(2) take 72(t)/SEPP withdrawals for a minimum of 5 years, or until you turn 59 1/2 - whichever is longer.

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