Withdrawal eligibility

When can you withdraw money from DCP?

When you retire or separate from DCP-covered employment, you are eligible to receive payment from your DCP account. With DCP, there is no federal tax penalty for early withdrawals, which means you can withdraw your savings at any age. Because DCP is meant to supplement your income in retirement, DCP payments will not affect your other retirement or Social Security payments.

What special circumstances apply to withdrawals?

In-service withdrawal

You could request a voluntary in-service withdrawal if the following is true:

  • Your entire account value does not exceed $5,000
  • Your contributions have been suspended for two years or longer
  • You have not previously received an in-service withdrawal
Unforeseeable emergency withdrawals

You can request a distribution of your accumulated contributions if you are experiencing severe financial hardship because of an unforeseeable emergency. IRS requirements restrict this type of withdrawal, and may limit the amount that can be withdrawn. If your request for an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal is approved, you must stop making contributions to DCP for at least six months. For more information call 888-327-5596.

Automatic enrollment withdrawal

New employees automatically enrolled in DCP have up to 90 days after the first paycheck deferral to cancel DCP and withdraw any contributions. After 90 days, standard withdrawal eligibility applies.

Withdrawal options

Payment options

Payment options include whole or partial lump sum, periodic payment amounts and an annuity purchase. Here are some of the choices you will make:

  • Amount Certain – receive a specific dollar amount on an installment basis.
  • Period Certain – receive a set number of periodic installment payments.
  • One time withdrawal, followed by period installment payments.
  • Single Life Expectancy
  • Joint Life Expectancy
  • Annuity purchase

All distributions, with the exception of a rollover to another eligible retirement plan or a traditional IRA, are treated as income in the year you receive them and are subject to federal income taxes. For specific payment option information, see the How to withdraw section.

Can I change my payment options? Yes, once you begin recieving payments, you can change your payment amount, frequency of payments and payment date at any time. If you are age 70½ or older, your payments must meet minimum distribution requirements.

Can I leave my money in DCP? Yes, you can keep your DCP account. Keeping your money in DCP can provide you with tax savings and better retirement opportunities. Balances in DCP accounts continue to receive earnings according to the performance of your chosen investments. See section Six reasons to stay in the program.

Can one person’s DCP account be consolidated with another person’s account? No, accounts of different owners can not be consolidated. See the Benificiary section for more information about inheriting accounts.

Does payment from DCP affect my Social Security benefit? No, however at higher income levels portions of your Social Security benefit can become subject to federal income tax.

Purchasing service credit

You might be able to use your DCP funds to purchase service credit or restore previously withdrawn retirement contributions in any qualified defined benefit government retirement plan. Both actions will increase your monthly retirement benefit from Washington state retirement plans. See Purchasing Additional Service Credit for more information.

Rollovers to an IRA or another eligible employer plan

The following payments can be rolled over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another eligible employer plan:

  • Lump sums (including in-service withdrawals)
  • Installments over less than 10 years

Except for a Roth IRA, if you elect a direct rollover, you will not owe federal income taxes on the rollover amount until distribution is taken from the traditional IRA or another eligible employer plan. Payments you receive that will exhaust your account in less than 10 years must have 20% withheld for federal income taxes.

Withdrawal forms

DCP withdrawal forms

Separation from Employment Withdrawal: Use this form to request distribution after separation/retirement, change current distribution option.

Automated Minimum Withdrawal: Request ongoing minimum distributions from your account to meet your required minimum distribution after age 70½.

In-Service Withdrawal: Request distribution while still employed.

Beneficiary Distribution Request: Request a withdrawal from your awarded beneficiary account.

Alternate Payee Withdrawal: Used to withdraw funds per a Qualified Domestic Relations order, this form can be obtained by calling 888-327-5596.

Automatic enrollment withdrawal: New employees automatically enrolled in DCP have up to 90 days after the first paycheck deferral to cancel DCP and withdraw any contributions. After 90 days, standard withdrawal eligibility applies. To obtain the form, call 888-327-5596.

Related forms

Direct Deposit Authorization: Request direct deposit of your retirement benefit.

IRS Form W-4P: Request to have federal income tax withheld from each withdrawal or annuity payment you receive.

Six reasons to stay in the program

Easy 24/7 account management
Manage your account online or by phone. Call the DCP Information Line at 888-327-5596 or access your account through

Diverse investment opportunities
Choose from a range of investment options to maintain a well-diversified portfolio. (Diversification doesn’t ensure a profit and doesn’t protect against loss in declining markets.)

Quick and easy transfers among investment options
With DCP, there’s no paperwork to transfer your assets among the many investment choices. Transfers made online or by phone are processed within 24 hours.

Low-cost program
As a DCP participant, you get the benefit of “strength in numbers” by being part of a large group program. This allows you access to institutional pricing that is not typically available to individuals or small retirement programs. This means that more of your money works for you in your DCP account.

Easy consolidation of your retirement savings
You may roll over your retirement savings from other tax-deferred accounts into DCP. If you have a 403(b), 401(k) or 457 plan account from a previous employer, or a pre-tax IRA, you may move those investments into DCP, so you can easily access and manage all your assets in one account. You are encouraged to discuss rolling money from one account to another with your financial advisor/planner, considering any potential fees and limitations of investment options

Flexible distribution and payout options
DCP provides a variety of distribution options to suit your financial needs, including periodic installments and partial withdrawals. Change your distribution arrangement as many times as necessary to meet your needs, as long as you begin receiving payments during the year after you reach age 70½.

DCP offers investment choices, low fees, flexibility and access to valuable services. Call us for more information 888-327-5596.

Annuity Options

Did you know you can use your contributions to purchase an annuity? An annuity can provide a guaranteed payment for your lifetime. Visit the annuity page to explore your options. go there

Information for beneficiaries

Here are some questions beneficiaries commonly ask about their beneficiary account:

What are my withdrawal options? If you are a spouse, you have the same withdrawal options as the participant did. You can leave the money in the account, withdraw in full or withdraw it in payments. If you are not a spouse, you can withdraw the funds. For more specific information about withdrawal options, see the beneficiary withdrawal form.

Can I contribute additional funds to the awarded beneficiary account? No.

Can I roll my beneficiary account funds into my IRA? A spouse beneficiary can roll the funds into a traditional IRA. A non-spouse can roll the funds into an inherited IRA.

Can I roll my awarded beneficiary account into my own DCP account? No. The accounts must be kept separate for distribution purposes. However, you can withdraw the beneficiary account funds while you are still working for a DCP-covered employer.

How do I name a beneficiary for my awarded beneficiary account? You can’t. Upon your death, any remaining funds go directly to your estate.

Beneficiary or survivor, what is the difference? A survivor is the spouse or registered domestic partner of the participant at the time of passing. The survivor beneficiary has the same account withdrawal options as the participant did. A beneficiary who is not a survivor is a non-spouse.

Who can I contact? For more information about beneficiaries, contact DRS.

Required minimum distribution (RMD)

Internal Revenue Code 401(a)(9) requires that, unless you are still actively employed, beginning at age 70½, your account withdrawals must be an amount that will exhaust your entire account balance within your projected life expectancy. Visit the required minimum distributions page to find out more. go there

Cancelling a withdrawal

To cancel a withdrawal, send a written request with the date and your signature to the DCP record keeper.

Empower Retirement State of Washington DCP
PO Box 173764
Denver, CO 80217-3764

Or fax your request to 866-745-5766.

If you return to work for the state or a participating political subdivision, you can re-enroll in DCP. Whether or not you choose to re-enroll, your payments from DCP will cease.

More resources

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful when considering or completing a withdrawal.

Beneficiary Designation

Members, you can update your beneficiary information from your online retirement account. Select “My Account” in the navigation menu and then “View/Edit” beside “Beneficiary.”

(If you prefer to fill out and mail in a printed form, select this link.)