As McDonald writes, buried deep in the CARES Act (the Corona Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) which was enacted on March 27, 2020, and provided $2.2 Trillion of fiscal stimulus to offset the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy, “is a clause that gives temporary flexibility on early withdrawals from retirement accounts. These temporary changes to the rules give more leeway to make emergency withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement accounts without incurring a penalty.”

Specifically, Section 2022 of the CARES Act eliminates the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty if you are under the age of 59 ½ and withdraw up to $100,000. It also allows for the spread out of your income tax liability over three years rather than the same year you withdraw the money. And since the window to make these penalty-free early withdrawals closes by the end of 2020, millions of cash-strapped households may have no choice but to sell tens, if not hundreds of billions in passively-managed funds to take advantage of this one-time offer to avoid a 10% early withdrawal charge.-

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