Loan repayment

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Q. I have approximately $4,500 to repay on a TSP loan. I want to retire in five years, so I’m trying to build up my TSP. Am I better off to let the loan run it’s course, or am I better off putting the additional contributions toward the loan?

TSP withdrawal

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Q. I retire next August. If I start taking monthly withdrawals, will I ever be able to make the one-time withdrawal for something big that might come along and keep the monthly payments. Or do I have to take it before the monthly payments start?

FERS disability

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Q. I fell under FERS disability. What percentage will I be hit with on a full withdrawal of my TSP? I am under the 55 age limit. A. The withholding for federal taxes will be 20 percent. The tax and early withdrawal penalty you actually owe on the withdrawal will be calculated when you file your tax return for the year. Unless you qualify for one of the exceptions listed on the left side of Page 7 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf, in addition to income taxes, your withdrawal will be subject to the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.

TSP re-deposit

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Q. While still employed in the federal government, can I re-deposit the money I have withdrawn to an outside IRA back into the TSP prior to full retirement? A. You may transfer an eligible (contains no after-tax money) IRA balance into your TSP account at any time.

The characteristics of a good portfolio

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Do you know a good investment portfolio when you see one? Based on my experience, few investors do. In fact, the investment industry thrives on the prospect that you don’t know the difference between a good portfolio and a bad one. Since managing your investment portfolio is basically a tug of war over profit between you and everyone else in the investing game, it is critical that you gain the best foothold and grip you possibly can before the pulling even begins. Your effort in this struggle is expressed in the way you manage your portfolio — including your Thrift…

Monthly payouts

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Q. Are FERS retirement checks, TSP distribution checks and Social Security checks a monthly or bi-weekly distribution? Is there an option to make requests for either method? A. All are monthly.

CSRS Offset

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Q. My wife retires in January from federal service. She had CSRS Offset. She is receiving her annuity, but did she contribute to FERS while in CSRS offset? And if she did, does she now have stocks in FERS that she can move into her mutual fund? A. She did not contribute to FERS if she was not covered by FERS. If you’re asking if she contributed to the Thrift Savings Plan, that’s a question she will have to answer. If she did, then she has money that is hers to do with as she pleases, within the rules.

VCP investment

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Q. I’m a CSRS employee with 34 years of service. I’m 53 years old and plan to work until I’m 58 years old. I have $15,000 that I want to invest. Would you recommend putting it into the Voluntary Contributions Program? I have a balance in TSP also.

Social Security default

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Q. What would happen to FERS retirees if Social Security defaults? I heard rumors that the CSRS folks will still get paid, but the FERS people will not. Another rumor is that the government can take your TSP G-Fund money, but not the other funds. What should federal employees be doing for such a scenario?

TSP and divorce

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Q. I am 56 and have been drawing on my TSP by monthly payments (not annuitized)for 2-1/2 years. I am getting divorced and having to split assets. My understanding is that you can’t switch to lump sum after starting monthly payments until 59-1/2. However, divorce being a life event, does the TSP allow you to choose a lump-sum option to the TSP owner once assets are split by court order? A. You may end your monthly payments in a full and final lump-sum distribution at any time.

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