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DId you separate from job?
As long as you "separated from service" in or after you the year you turn 55, you may make a penalty free withdrawal from your 401K plan. You will stil be taxed as ordinary income any withdrawal amount. If you are working than the withdrawal will be subject to 10% early withdrawal penalty as you have not reached 59 1/2 years age.
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Please note: This advice is provided with the understanding that all the relevant facts have been provided by you. Any change in facts might affect the advice given and hence may not be relied on in such cases. Nothing contained in this reply was intended or written to be used, can be used by any taxpayer, or may be relied upon or used by any taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
This is not a 401K or Retirement Savings Plan. It is a full-fledged pension from a big pharmaceutical company (Glaxo SmithKline). I understand I would be starting the monthly, ongoing payout of the pension plan...which will continue for many years. Is the tax impact like that of a 401K with tax as ordinary income plus a 10% penalty?