Exception to early withdrawal penalty?


Q. In IRS Publication 575 on page 33, they list an exception from the 10 percent penalty on withdrawing from the Thrift Savings Plan fund for qualified public safety employees. As a federal agent, if I retire in the year in which I turn 50, am I exempt from the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty based on the qualified public safety employee clause? IRS Publication 721, pages 17-18 lists a law enforcement officer as a qualified public safety employee. If this is the case, why do they not mention this when doing pre-retirement seminars?

A. The exception only applies to defined benefit pension plans, not to defined contributions retirement plans such as TSP.


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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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