TSP withdrawal options


Q. As a federal law enforcement officer facing mandatory retirement in 2013, I have been looking closely at my Thrift Savings Plan withdrawal options. When I retire and I leave my complete TSP balance in the G Fund, can I request withdrawals whenever I want and for whatever amount I want?

I see that there are options for setting up a recurring amount each month or year, but can that be changed to month to month or whenever it is needed? For example, because receiving my full retirement pension amount in a timely manner will most assuredly not happen, would I be able to request a lump sum from TSP the month I retire and then wait a couple of months to see how things go, then request a recurring withdrawal every month for a while? And then, if I deem I don’t need extra money for a couple of months, stop the monthly payouts?

I do not want to buy an annuity. I just want to know how flexible I can be in withdrawing from the TSP.

A. You may take one partial withdrawal from the TSP during your lifetime. In addition to this partial withdrawal, you may take a full withdrawal, either as a lump sum or a series of monthly payments that either deplete your account or end in a final lump-sum withdrawal. You may change the amount of fixed monthly payments once each year, in January. Your question is answered in more detail at www.tsp.gov.


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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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