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Unforeseeable Emergency

457 Plan

An “unforeseeable emergency” is a severe financial hardship that includes:

  • A sudden and unexpected illness or accident that you or a dependent experience;
  • Loss of your property due to casualty; or
  • Other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances arising as a result of events beyond your control. Sending a child to college or purchasing a home is not considered an unforeseeable emergency.

CERF cannot make distributions for unforeseeable emergencies if the hardship can be relieved:

  • Through reimbursement or compensation by insurance or from other sources;
  • By liquidation of your assets (to the extent that the liquidation does not cause severe financial hardship); or
  • By stopping your deferrals or contributions to this plan.

Additionally, if you have not contributed to the plan for two years, you may request an in-service withdrawal. To do this, you must:

  • Have an account balance of $5,000 or less; and
  • Not have received a previous in-service distribution.

If you have an unforeseeable emergency, you may obtain from Empower Retirement or the CERF Office an Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawal Request. It must be reviewed and approved by Great-West and CERF before a distribution is made.

To apply for an emergency withdrawal, you must complete and submit the Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawal Request to Great-West Financial, 133 S. 11th street, Suite 230, St. Louis, MO 63102.

Income Taxes

10% of the total taxable amount will be withheld for Federal Income Tax, unless you elect not to have the taxes withheld. You may also indicate that you want more than 10% withheld. You may also elect to have State Income Tax withheld. Because taxes are complicated and everyone’s situation is unique, you should always seek the advice of an independent tax advisor before making a withdrawal.