Q: Are FERS 6c retirees considered retired public safety officers by the IRS for the purposes of tax reporting? I am a retiree with 20 years of service, but under age 59 ½. Most of my career was a GS-2181 customs officer/pilot, but they changed us to 1877 air-interdiction-agent pilots just prior to my retirement. I would like to take the one-time disbursement from TSP and avoid the 10 percent penalty, but I am unsure if federal law enforcement is considered public safety officers under IRS rules.
A: If you retired during or after the calendar year in which you reached age 55, then you may withdraw from the TSP without penalty. If not, your status as a public safety officer will not affect the early withdrawal penalty. You’ll be subject to it unless you take a series of substantially equal periodic payments or qualify for another exception.