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Not just in the law, but the "Plan Document" MUST be written to accommodate under/coupled with ER (Early Retirement) provisions. Some do, most don't. And the law changed the exception permitted with OBRA 93, tho the annuity calculated payment form is still a required option, especially today.

"You can avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty by taking funds from your 401k (or any qualified pension plan) in equal installments over a certain period of time. Specifically, the law says that if the distrubtion is part of a scheduled series of substantially equal periodic payments made over the life expectancy of the participant and the beneficiary, the 10% penalty will be eliminated. However, once this annuity form of payment is elected, it cannot be switched until five years have elapsed or until age 59 1/2- whichever is longer." "


KBM (arcane details R us)
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