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California wildfire relief

The IRS is temporarily allowing individuals (and their family members) impacted by the California wildfires easier access to plan loans and hardship withdrawals from retirement plans.

Here’s how it works

Plan sponsors will receive a communication letting them know to contact their Principal® representative if they are interested in allowing the IRS relief for their participants (and their family members) in the impacted areas. We’ve put procedures in place to process participant requests quickly (if plan sponsors have agreed).

What does the relief allow?

  • The standard reasons for hardship withdrawals have been relaxed – allowing for other basic financial needs, such as food and housing.
  • If a hardship withdrawal is taken, the standard six-month elective deferral suspension does not apply and participants may continue contributing, if able.
  • Standard tax rules still apply.

For more detailed information on the relief, check out the Compliance News.

What should participants do if they are in need?

Participants can call the Participant Contact Center at 800-547-7754 to get the process started. Or, you or the plan sponsor can provide them with the Qualified Disaster Relief Form.

The temporary relief is available to impacted participants of the wildfires until March 15, 2018.


In this difficult time, we are here to help and working to make this process as easy as possible. Contact your Principal representative or our Advisor Support Team at 800-952-3343 with any questions.

This document is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.

Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, a member of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, Iowa 50392.

© 2017 Principal Financial Services, Inc.


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