Are 401k plans and pension plans exempt in a bankruptcy? 29 Answers as of June 14, 2013

Are 401(k) plans and pension plans exempted in bankruptcy? What happens to these plans once I file?

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Generally, yes. But there are exceptions.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/18/2012
Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
Yes, they are exempt. See 11 U.S.C. 522.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/7/2012
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
They should be fully exempt.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/6/2012
Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
Yes. But only if the plan is a qualified plan (by the IRS) and if your contributions to the plan satisfy the IRS requirements for that plan.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/5/2012
J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
Retirement proceeds are exempt under NC law.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/5/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you file pro se you probably lose them since you don't know how to exempt them. With an attorney, you likely keep them.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/4/2012
    Lynn Boak, Attorney at Law P.C.
    Lynn Boak, Attorney at Law P.C. | Ethelyn (Lynn) Boak
    Most qualified pension plans and 401(k) plans are exempt assets. They remain exempt after you file.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 6/4/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Look to the exemptions of the state where you live. Also, there are some federal exemptions allowed for folks who file for bankruptcy. Most likely your 401k plans are exempt, but the pension funds, once deposited in the bank account might not be. Again, you need to check your state exemptions. Under that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    They are exempt and you get to keep them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Yes. Indeed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    All 401(k) plans and qualified retirement plans are exempt in bankruptcy. You will not lose your funds.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Yes and Yes. The only limitation is that the amount has to be "reasonable". Never found an unreasonable yet. You are totally safe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Yes in Florida. There are few exceptions. You should consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    These plans are generally exempt as long as they are ERISA-qualified. I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    All pension and 401(k) plans are exempt under federal and state law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Most if not all retirement accounts including your 401K and pension plan are protected and wholly exempt from any distribution or liquidation to your creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once you file, the exempt assets are protected and you do not need to surrender or liquidate the exempt assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
    Yes, qualified plans are exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Yes, they are exempt. Nothing happens to them once you file, because they are exempt. That means that none of your creditors can get their hands on these assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    AZ Law Group of Trezza & Associates
    AZ Law Group of Trezza & Associates | Stephen Trezza
    Yes. Congress wants to encourage saving for retirement so your creditors can't touch these funds.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    In Nebraska virtually all retirement plans are exempt and therefore you may keep them.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Wajda Law Group, APC
    Wajda Law Group, APC | Nicholas M. Wajda
    Yes, under Nevada exemptions you can exempt qualified retirement plans (such as a 401(k)) for up to $500,000. There are also separate unlimited exemptions for pensions for public employees in Nevada. With that said, you do want to make sure that it is appropriate for you to use Nevada exemptions in your situation. There are specific rules specifying which exemptions can be used based on how long you have been living in the state.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally yes, however no firm answer can be given until your individual facts are known to a professional bankruptcy practitioner.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
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