University of Southern California

USC Benefits

Hardship Distributions from the USC Retirement Plans

The amount available for a hardship distribution is limited to employee contributions only, not earnings, and cannot exceed the amount needed to pay the documented expenses plus mandated withholding and penalties, if applicable. The distribution will be taxed as ordinary taxable income and an additional 10% IRS penalty will apply if the participant is under age 59. Notarized spousal consent is required for distributions from the USC Retirement Savings Program.

Effective August 1, 2012, participants who take a distribution from their retirement plan due to a financial hardship will have their contributions to all USC retirement plans suspended for a six month period. It will be the participant's responsibility to re-instate their contributions following the end of the six month period.

If you need additional information or want to clarify the documentation that is required to approve your request, please contact Benefits Administration ( for 403(b) plans or Retirement Plan Administration ( for the Hospital 401(k) plan.