Optional Retirement - Withdrawals

Cash Withdrawals


GSRA contracts

Cash withdrawals from annuity accumulations credited before January 1, 1989 are not subject to any restrictions and are available at any time. Cash withdrawals from contributions made to an annuity contract and any earnings credited to an annuity contract on or after January 1, 1989 are permitted only if you satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

    you are employed by the RF and have attained age 59,
  • you have terminated RF employment at any age,
  • you become disabled as defined by the IRS, or
  • you die.

Note: Your beneficiary may make withdrawals.


TDA contracts

Refer to Making a cash withdrawal and tax implications in the Benefits Handbook or Postdoctoral Employee Benefits Handbook.



Hardship Withdrawals

If you are an active employee under the age of 59 with an account under the Optional Retirement plan (governed by Internal Revenue Code 403(b)), you are eligible to request a financial hardship withdrawal provided you meet the criteria shown below.

You may not repay the amount taken as a hardship to your account. If you are over age 59 or terminated, you can make withdrawals without using this procedure.

Before You Request a Distribution

The following criteria must be met before you may request a distribution from your TIAA contract. In accordance with Federal regulations (Internal Revenue Code 213(d)), the contributions you have made (principal only, not the earnings on those contributions) may be withdrawn for the following reasons:

  • Medical expenses (for you and/or your dependents) 
  •  Purchase of your principal residence
  • Post-secondary school tuition for next semester or quarter for you and/or your spouse or dependent(s)
  • To prevent your eviction from your residence or foreclosure on your mortgage
  • Payments for burial or funeral expenses for your parent, spouse, child or dependent
  • Expenses for repair of your principal residence due to casualty loss.

Note: The hardship withdrawal will only be approved if the distribution does not exceed the financial need (plus taxes) and you have eliminated all other avenues for obtaining these funds. For more information, see How to Request a Hardship Withdrawal.



Optional Retirement



Contact your campus benefits office for more information.

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