• Guest Post

Can I get my Pension Contributions Back

Updated: May 18

The short answer to this question is no.


While it would be great if there was some way that you could get your pension contributions back, the money you contribute to your pension plan is considered income by the IRS, and as such, it cannot be refunded or returned to you once it has been deposited into your account.


The good news here is that the government has deemed this money nontaxable, so you won't have to pay taxes on it each year when your contributions are being made.


*Please note this article is written by a USA guest blogger, and it does not apply to the UK or elsewhere.

Can I get my Pension Contributions Back

Although some good news about getting pension contributions back

Under current US law, you’re allowed to roll over a 401(k) from one job to another. Doing so will make it easier for you to manage your money and ensure that your savings are growing steadily over time.


If you choose not to roll it over, however, then you may have no choice but to take a distribution from your account. But if that’s what happens, don’t worry; all is not lost.


You’ll just need a game plan for what comes next and our guide on where to invest your 401(k) can help.




Is there anything I can do?

In most cases, you can’t. This is particularly true if you were a member of a defined benefit scheme—which means your employer and/or its scheme would have to pay an insurer to repay what it has taken.


Even then, it’s unlikely that your employer will be willing to pay these extra costs—after all, it paid premiums for many years without taking anything out of your wage packet.


What if I'm not happy with current performance

If you’re not happy with your current defined contribution (DC) plan, or want to switch jobs, you might be wondering if it’s possible to withdraw funds from your account.


The good news is that DC plans are portable—meaning that you can take them with you from job to job, although this isn't the case with DB schemes.



What if I leave it too late to move?

If you have less than 3 years left until your state retirement age, it’s probably best to leave your contributions in.


That way, they’ll continue to build up with interest. Even if you don’t think you can afford to contribute as much as before, or even at all (if you quit work early), your pension provider might be able to stop taking out further payments and pay them into a savings account on your behalf instead.


Can I get my Pension Contributions Back - The Bottom Line

When you start to draw your state or federal government pension, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to re-contribute those funds.


Usually, these government pensions are considered non-taxable income so if you do try to recontribute them, they may be taxed as ordinary income instead of being treated as a rollover.

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