Whether a plan permits hardship distributions is up to the employer when designing the plan.

Last November, the IRS issued proposed regulations incorporating several legislative changes regarding the ability of a 401(k) or 403(b) plan to make distributions to participants to relieve a hardship caused by an immediate and heavy financial

In a new private letter ruling (PLR 201833012) released August 17, 2018, the IRS approved amendments to a 401(k) plan that effectively permit the employer to treat an employee’s student loan repayments similar to elective contributions under the plan by making a nonelective employer contribution equal to the matching contribution the employer would have made,