You can start taking distributions from your 403b plan starting at age 59-and-a-half regardless of your employment situation. However, the Internal Revenue Service permits distributions at other times after certain triggering events.
You can take money out of your 403b plan when you leave your job for any reason, such as retirement or being fired. However, unless you retire after age 55, you will have to pay a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.
You can take an early withdrawal from your 403b plan in the event of a severe financial hardship for which you have no other sources of payment. Examples of financial hardships include money withdrawn to pay rent to avoid eviction. You can also withdraw money if you suffer a permanent disability.
If you inherit a 403b plan as a beneficiary upon the death of the original owner, you can take distributions from the 403b plan immediately even if the original owner had not reached age 59-and-a-half.