Q: I am 51 and will retire from federal law enforcement after 24 years of service. Will I have to pay the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal? I was always told the federal hazardous duty act exempted me from the provision.
A: It is my understanding that the exemption applies only to withdrawals from a defined benefit pension plan, and not to withdrawals from defined contribution plans like the TSP. Check with a CPA to be sure before you proceed.