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Can I turn my Retirement/Pension Account (non-IRA, non-401K) into cash?

Can I turn my Retirement/Pension Account (non-IRA, non-401K) into cash?

I'm not allowed to withdraw from it until 2020, and it's currently worth about $120,000. (It's a TIAA-CREF Retirement Account, from a State job I had 20 years ago.)

If the answer is Yes, how much should I realistically be able to monetize it for?

Alternately, could I take a loan out against it?

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It depends on each individual pension plan, but with it being funded by a government the answer is most likely no. There should be an HR contact that would be able to point you in the right direction of how to find that out.

That being said, it is definitely not something I would recommend unless is it absolutely needed. Generally, early withdrawals are not only taxed for income (take money out could also raise your income bracket), but there are early withdrawal penalties as well (usually 10%).

If you'd like me to do more research for you, email me at

Sep 16, 2013