Penalty-free withdrawals from individual retirement accounts would be allowed for first-home purchases and other purposes under two bills introduced last week.

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., would also permit withdrawals for education expenses, dramatic health care costs, and during periods of unemployment. Rep. McCollum also wants to increase the annual tax-deductible contribution from $2,000 to $4,500 and raise income limits for IRA investors.

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