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Bankruptcy Exemptions for Retirement Accounts, Annuities and Insurance Policies

When a person files for Bankruptcy, their assets may be sold by the bankruptcy trustee to pay their creditors. However, there are certain assets that are protected from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee, known as exemptions. This article will cover the bankruptcy exemptions for retirement accounts, annuities and insurance policies.

Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions, are typically protected from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee in a bankruptcy case. This means that a person’s retirement savings will not be used to pay their creditors. The protections for retirement accounts are provided by federal law under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Annuities and Insurance Policies

Annuities and insurance policies are also generally protected in bankruptcy. In most states, a person’s right to receive future payments from an annuity or insurance policy is protected. Additionally, some states offer specific exemptions for annuities and insurance policies, which can provide further protection.

It's important to note that while the bankruptcy code provides protections for certain types of annuities and insurance policies, it may not provide protection for all types of annuities and insurance policies. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine whether your specific annuity or insurance policy is protected.


Retirement accounts, annuities, and insurance policies are typically protected from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee in a bankruptcy case. However, it's important to understand the specific exemptions that apply to your individual situation and to consult with a bankruptcy attorney for guidance. By knowing your bankruptcy exemptions, you can better protect your assets and ensure a smoother bankruptcy process.

Categories: Bankruptcy
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