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As a word of caution, taking an early distribution from a 409(a) plan can impose significantly more taxes and penalties than taking an early distribution from a 401(k) plan. With a disallowed distribution from a 409(a) plan, all the money in the plan can become immediately taxable, retroactive to the date of contribution.

My understanding, which is shaky at this point, is that an advance selection of early withdrawl eliminiates the early withdrawl penalty.

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