Ready to cash out my TSP: How do I do it?


Q: I have looked all over the Thrift Savings Plan website and cannot find the button to push that says I am retiring and want to start collecting my money. I am almost 62 and intend to retire in 191 days. I have figured out that I want to begin receiving my money on a monthly basis and can only change that election once a year. The online calculator tells me that amount is good for 60 years and four months. It does not tell me how far off the minimum distribution I am. But where is the button?

A: Directly from the TSP website:

How to Request a Withdrawal: If you are ready to request a withdrawal from your TSP account, you need to do the following:

1. Read the booklet Withdrawing Your TSP Account After Leaving Federal Service.
2. Read the TSP tax notice “Important Tax Information About Payments From Your TSP Account.
3. Complete either Form TSP-70, Request for Full Withdrawal (TSP-U-70, uniformed services) or Form TSP-77, Request for Partial Withdrawal When Separated (TSP-U-77, uniformed services).

The calculator is useless, in my opinion, and you won’t know how much your minimum withdrawal amount will be each year until after Dec. 31 of the year in which you’ve reached age 70 1/2.


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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