Community Spouse Pension

If a pension cannot be reduced to a lump-sum amount and withdrawn from the plan, but only accessed via monthly payments, then it is not countable as a resources, but only countable as income of the Community Spouse when it is actually received.

On the other hand, where the Community Spouse owns an IRA or 401(k) or similar plan, where there is a lump sum that can be accessed, then in many states, such asset of the Community Spouse is exempt, but other states will count it. Thus, to be sure, you need to find out how your own state treats retirement assets of a Community Spouse. You may be able to find this online, within the regulations of the Medicaid rules for your state, or confer with an elder law attorney in your area who will know the answer to this question.

A further wrinkle is that some states will only exempt such IRA/401(k)-type retirement plan assets if it is actually paying out distributions to the Community Spouse. Once again, you need to find out the treatment of your own state.