Q. I’m a CSRS employee with an active TSP account, but I have not contributed to my account through payroll deductions in several years. I’m over 60 years old and eligible for catch-up contributions. Can I make a one-time cash contribution this year and, if so, what is the maximum amount? I’d like to move funds from a low-paying IRA savings account into TSP for better returns. A. You may not make a lump-sum cash contribution to your TSP account. Your options are payroll deferral or transfer of qualified funds from an IRA account.

Q. My late husband was a FERS retiree when he passed in 2017. I am also a federal employee, but am under CSRS. I’m planning to retire soon, and am wondering if I have our TSP funds in the correct L Funds. I was told it should correspond to your retirement year, but just read that it should be based on my life expectancy. Which is accurate? Also, is it correct that if I withdraw from my husband’s TSP it would not be subject to the 10 percent penalty? A. There is no “accurate” or correct way to choose an…

Q. I have a couple nickels in the Thrift Savings Plan and I am very concerned about a turnaround that I believe is coming. Where to do I information as to how much of my TSP can be moved to another IRA or secured account for better growth? Will it hurt me to remove most and leave a little? Where I find answers about moving my current funds, and starting a fresh minimalist account? A. The rules governing the TSP are available at www.tsp.gov. There is no need to move your money out of the TSP to secure it against…

Q. I am currently working, have both a Traditional and Roth TSP but will be subject to required minimum distribution upon retirement. The five-year Roth requirement will not be satisfied by the time I retire. I would like to transfer the entire Roth account, both qualified and nonqualified, to an outside Roth IRA before I retire to avoid paying RMD on the Roth portion. Can I do this without penalty, or am I limited to transferring the qualified portion only?  A. Rolling money over from the TSP to an IRA should be free from any penalty, if you do it…

Q. I am 58 years old and seeking retirement soon after my 62nd birthday. I would like to withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan when I am 59 1/2, in a lump sum. How much will I have to pay in penalties and taxes?   A. It sounds like you will be taking an age-based, in-service withdrawal. The amount withdrawn from your Traditional account will be taxed as Ordinary Income. There will be no penalty for early withdrawal.

Q. I am retiring from federal service at my MRA of 56 with 30 years of service. I plan to continue to work as a support service contractor to my federal agency. Can I withdraw money from my Thrift Savings Plan savings without penalty while I am working as a support service contractor? I know I will have to pay income tax on my withdrawals, but wanted assurance that my withdrawals will not be subject to a penalty since I meet MRA and years of service requirements. A. Under the circumstances you describe, your TSP distributions will be exempt from the…

Q. My wife has a TSP and an IRA. She starts distributions this year since she has turned 70. From what I understand, she could add the account balances from both as of Dec. 31, 2018, calculate the minimum distribution, and take the entire distribution required from one account, the TSP. She does not have to take it from both accounts, correct? A. She may not aggregate her TSP and IRA RMDs. Each must be taken from the applicable account.

Q. I know that the long-term care insurance premiums that are made available to federal employees could rise, as they did a few years ago. I thought, however, that the rates would always be the same for all federal employees who obtain that insurance. One of your columns seems to suggest that the insurance company can raise my individual rates as I get older. Is that true if I am a federal employee? Maybe you mean that once I am retired, the company can raise my individual rates, even though the company cannot raise my rates individually as long as I am…

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