Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College? There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college. Share | Have A Question About This Topic? Address Thank you! Oops! Related Contents The Power of Tax-Deferred Growth Why are 401(k) plans, annuities, and IRAs so popular? IRA Withdrawals that Escape the 10% Tax Penalty The list of IRA withdrawals that may be taken without incurring a 10% early penalty has grown. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.