Understanding Forms

Please refer to your Plan’s Summary Plan Description to see if your plan allows for a hardship distribution If not, you cannot apply for a hardship at this time. Our goal at Creative Retirement Systems, Inc. (CRS) is to process your hardship in a timely manner. Most common causes for delays in processing hardships are as follows:


Forms not properly completed and (or) signed (Main cause)


Proof of Hardship not attached


Repeated phone calls to our office requesting a status

Form Request Process

In order to help process loans in a timely manner, we would like to walk you through the whole process.

  • STEP 1

    CRS receives a Hardship request (Hardship application) from an employee

  • STEP 2

    CRS reviews the paper work to make sure it is filled out correctly. If not, a notice is sent to the employee requesting additional information.

  • STEP 3

    CRS checks to see if the Hardship is heavy and immediate. For this, CRS requires that proof of Hardship be enclosed with the Hardship forms.

  • STEP 4

    At this time CRS either approves or denies a request based on the paper work received.

  • STEP 5

    In case of an approved application, CRS authorizes a distribution. Depending on the investment company, a check will be sent to you directly or sent to the plan trustee. The plan trustee will then forward the check to you. Also, some investment companies may require you to complete additional forms.


In order to process a distribution in a timely manner, we are forced to restrict the amount of time we spend on the phone giving participants a daily update on their request. Please note that we will not return phone calls by participants requesting a status on a daily basis.

Form Submission Prerequisites

Please note that Hardships can ONLY be approved for reasons specified on the Hardship application form (no exceptions). Once you take a Hardship Distribution, you will be required to stop contributing elective Deferrals (401(k) money) into the plan for a period of six months commencing on the date the distribution is made.

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