Can I Keep My Retirement?

In most cases, individuals filing bankruptcy can keep or exempt their retirement if it is an ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) based plan such as related pensions, 401(k), and 403(b) plans. (see C.C.P. 7030(b)(10(E); 704.115(a)(1) &2(), (b); 704.115(a)(3), (b) (e); 704.110).  If you are not sure if your retirement  account is ERISA based you should check with your employer and obtain a status letter.  Also, the law includes IRA (Roth, SEP, SIMPLE) accounts, limited dollar amount caps (see 11 USC 522(n)). 

However, retirement money kept in annuities, checking, savings, mutual funds, stocks, do not share the same protection and are limited in the amount of money that can be protected / exempted and you should check with an attorney.

Information about ERISA accounts can be found at:

  • United States Department of Labor – click here.
  • United States Department of Labor, FAQs – click here.
  • 29 USC Chapter 18 – Employee Retirement Income Security Act – click here.

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The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation and state law. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current. Also, it may contain personal opinion.